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NCJ Number: 148147 Find in a Library
Title: De Clerambault Syndrome (Erotomania) in the Criminal Justice System: Another Look at This Recurring Problem
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:39  Issue:2  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:378-385
Author(s): G B Leong
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of erotomanic delusions, which are also called de Clerambault syndrome, focuses on five individuals arrested for crimes related to their erotomanic delusion and the implications for the criminal justice system and social policy.
Abstract: The syndrome has nine features, including the delusional belief of being in amorous communication with another person, the higher rank of the object of the delusion, the belief that the other person was the first to fall in love, and the sudden onset of the delusion. Erotomanic delusions are prominent in the thinking of persons described as celebrity stalkers or obsessed fans. All five of the cases presented in this paper were in their 30's. Their delusions had demonstrated permanence when they were presented to the criminal justice system. None had any psychological insight into their delusional thinking, insisting on the accuracy of their perception of love by the erotomanic object. The three males had never married, while the two females had failed marriages. Only two acknowledged experiencing auditory hallucinations. Although forecasting future acts of physical violence cannot be done with a high degree of accuracy, these five individuals have already demonstrated themselves to be a higher risk because of the behavioral actualization of their erotomanic delusions. Findings suggested that the age of the individuals and the permanence of their delusions means that they could pose a danger for their lifetimes, or an average of 30 more years. In addition, involuntary psychiatric treatment does not appear to be a viable solution. 20 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Mental disorders; Mentally ill offenders; Stalkers
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