What is Othello Syndrome?
Did William Shakespeare, considered one of the world's greatest poets and playwrights, ever think that his work Othello, written centuries ago and staged all over the world even today, would be the name of a psychotic disorder? The name of the psychotic disorder, which is mostly known today as pathological jealousy of the spouse or partner, comes from Shakespeare's famous work “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice”. This work about Othello's jealousy, who thinks that his wife is cheating on him, became the starting point of the name of the psychotic disorder in the article “The Othello Syndrome: A study in the psychopathology of sexual jealousy” published by the British psychiatrists John Tood and Kenneth Dewhurst. First of all, “What is Othello Syndrome?” let's elaborate on his question a little.
What is Othello Syndrome?
The characteristics of Othello Syndrome are linked to jealousy. For this reason, Othello Syndrome is also known by names such as delusional jealousy, erotic jealousy syndrome, pathological jealousy, morbid jealousy, Othello psychosis and sexual jealousy. Delusional jealousy is a psychiatric condition characterized by a person's delusional belief that their partner is unfaithful. These delusions are sometimes so strong that they lead people to resort to violence. Othello Syndrome is often linked to schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, alcohol-substance use disorders, and personality disorders. People's thoughts may be partly true or they may be completely imaginary. Regardless of whether these thoughts are partially true or not, it is noteworthy that people have a much higher-than-normal deal with jealousy beliefs.
Symptoms of Othello Syndrome
Among the symptoms of Othello Syndrome, obsessive jealousy is most often noted. Dec. People get the idea that their partners are cheating on them and feel seriously anxious. According to these people, the thoughts and behavior of their partners are already unreliable in the recent past. This condition, which occurs in the form of delusions, is controlling, insecure, controversial and experiences an increased feeling of helplessness when left untreated. Symptoms of Othello syndrome can be listed as follows:
* Monitoring the partner with the idea that he has bad intentions
* Constant questioning of the partner's behavior with an accusatory attitude
* Trying to access the partner's social media accounts and secretly control who they communicate with
* Don't get paranoid about who your partner is seeing in phone calls and e-mail correspondence
* Trying to find a basis for the suspicion of infidelity by going through the partner's belongings
* Trying to surprise the partner at unusual hours at work, at home or outside
* An effort to restrict the partner's activities outside the home (pressure to limit up to confinement at home)
* Emotional blackmail in order to control the partner's behavior
* An effort to isolate the partner from family and friends
• Do not blame someone else for all conflicts in the relationship, despite the main problem caused by jealousy
• Despite the fact that delusions of jealousy are proven to be false, the person does not accept this and does not realize that his thoughts are irrational
• If the abused partner wants to end the relationship, the person exhibits stalking and other obsessive behaviors
* The threat of violence against the partner or resorting to physical violence
* Suicide attempt and self-harm behavior
Causes of Othello Syndrome
The causes of Othello Syndrome may be related to some psychiatric conditions, but it would be correct to perceive this syndrome primarily as a psychotic disorder in itself. At this point, a psychiatric examination is decisive for the diagnosis. Some neurological and psychiatric disorders are shown among the causes of Othello Syndrome.These situations include:
* Anxiety: Delusions of jealousy may be a symptom in people with a deep feeling of insecurity and lack of self-confidence. Othello Syndrome can be accompanied by anxiety disorders.
* Schizophrenia: There are studies that Othello Syndrome and schizophrenia are linked.
* Personality Disorders: It is thought that there is an overlap Decisively between delusional jealousy and especially paranoid, borderline (borderline) and anti-social personality.
* Brain Injuries and Diseases: Diseases such as Huntington's and Parkinson's, conditions such as head injuries can have delusional consequences.
* Substance Use Disorders: It is more common for people with conditions such as addiction to experience delusions. According to a study, morbid jealousy has been diagnosed in 34 percent of people with alcohol dependence.
At first, Othello Syndrome can be perceived as a stand-alone condition, but it can reveal deeper mental and behavioral health problems.
Othello Syndrome Treatment
Excessive jealousy brings serious possessiveness. People who are trying to establish this type of relationship can often be aggressive, prone to harassment, stalking or even violence. Murders of women can be committed within the framework of excessive jealousy. For this reason, psychological support should not be delayed if the person has delusions of jealousy. In determining this jealousy experienced in Othello Syndrome, frontal lobe disorder of the brain can be investigated. Othello Syndrome treatment can be applied outpatient or inpatient depending on the severity of the disease. Anti-psychotic drugs, which are also used in the treatment of disorders such as schizophrenia, are also resorted to here. Individual and family therapy is also added to the treatment plan. Psychodynamic therapies, interpersonal relationship therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are among the frequently applied methods in the treatment of Othello Syndrome. It is tried to make these people who live with delusions see the world and life more realistically. It is also important to treat other problems that may be associated with Othello Syndrome.
How to Treat a Person With Othello Syndrome?
A person who experiences Othello Syndrome may experience problems such as depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation. Therefore, it is important to approach the person experiencing the syndrome correctly. It is also important for the family and the immediate environment to contact a specialist immediately, as well as to receive support. There may also be psychological or physical violence witnessed by children in the relationship in question. In order to keep children away, treatment for Othello Syndrome should also not be delayed.