OBSESSIONAL JEALOUSY: A BRIEF REVIEW AND CASE SERIES FROM INDIA

Agarwal, Biswas & Agarwal


Key words: obsessional jealousy, morbid jealousy, pathological jealousy, Othello syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Abstract:


The term morbid or pathological jealousy is taken to be synonymous with delusional jealousy and obsessional jealousy has not gained sufficient recognition, evident by the scarcity of data on jealousy as an obsession and its neglect in mainstream psychiatric literature. Recognition of obsessional jealousy may help to avoid unrewarding use of antipsychotics and needless therapeutic nihilism as such cases show robust response to serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The authors present a succinct review of obsessional jealousy and the first large case series reported from an Asian country.


Introduction:


Jealousy is a complex emotion, which has dominated mankind for ages. Literature abounds in descriptions of morbid jealousy from Roman and Greek mythology to Shakespeare, to whom we owe the colorful term ‘Othello syndrome’. However, as pointed out by many authors, there is no clear notion of what constitutes normal jealousy and where the boundaries should be drawn [1]. After centuries of striving, the concept remains elusive and the terminology unclear, being described by myriad terms such as sexual jealousy, erotic jealousy, morbid jealousy, pathological jealousy, conjugal paranoia, jealous monomania, psychotic, nonpsychotic and obsessional jealousy [2][3]. From time to time, morbid jealousy has been examined from psychoanalytic, cognitive and phenomenological aspects in parallel with the evolution of psychiatry, adding to the bewildering array of terms. From the phenomenological point of view, most researchers’ attention has been focused on delusional jealousy. The fact psychiatric medicine has tended to concentrate on morbid jealousy as a symptom of the psychoses is reflected in the treatment approaches [4]. Less information is available with regard to obsessional jealousy, where the thought has the quality of obsessional ideation [5]. As we encountered several cases of obsessional jealousy in our set up but found little literature on the entity, we decided to attempt a review devoted exclusively to obsessional jealousy (instead of a review of morbid jealousy in general). The literature and cases featured in this paper focus exclusively on obsessional jealousy to bring phenomenological clarity and accentuate its position as a distinct but hitherto under recognized symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This is the first large case series on obsessional jealousy reported from any Asian country to the best of our knowledge.

Literature Search:


Methodology: We conducted a MEDLINE search with predefined keywords to retrieve articles. Search was refined by retrieving cross-references of selected articles. Articles were selected using predefined selection criteria as follows:
1. Articles published in English
2. Articles with jealousy clearly defined as obsessive/ nonpsychotic / non delusional
3. Articles citing jealousy responding to serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs).
Results:
The details of search result are tabulated in Tables 1 and 2. The total number of relevant articles retrieved was 20. The total yield of cases published with clearly defined obsessional jealousy was 23.

 

Table 1: MEDLINE Search Results

SNo

Keyword used

Article Yield

Relevant

Overlapping articles

1.

Obsessional jealousy

8

6

2.

Pathological Jealousy

43

7

With 1.-3

3.

Morbid jealousy

39

7

With 1.-2, With 2.-1

4.

Obsession of infidelity

1

1

None

5.

Othello syndrome

14

1

With 1.-0, With 2.-1, With 3.-1

Table 2: Type of Articles included in Review

Article Type

Article Yield

No. of Cases

Review

5

Case Series

5

6 + 4 + 4

Single Case Report

9

9

Epidemiology

1

Total

20

23

Obsessional Jealousy: Evolution of concept
The concept of jealousy has changed with the changing social and cultural milieu in history. Jealousy was accorded a role in preserving social esteem in societies where monogamy was a moral and social imperative. Thus the institution of marriage and the instinct of jealousy served the same purpose. However the balance between perceived virtues and vices of jealousy shifted at different historical periods to culminate in the modern view of jealousy as compounded of vices mitigated by little, if any, virtue [1].

Upto the turn of the 19th century, the condition was always regarded as being associated with alcohol, when von Kraft Ebing (1903) described its delusional form in other mental illnesses, both functional and organic2. Following Mairet’s comprehensive description in 1908, states of abnormal sexual jealousy have invariably been separated into 3 distinct clinical entities, albeit using different descriptive terms, a compilation of which is presented in Table 3 [2][3]. One presentation takes the form of an excessive possessiveness which appears in otherwise undisturbed personalities and is thought to represent an exaggeration of normal jealousy. At the other extreme is delusional jealousy that may complicate a schizophrenic, affective or organic psychosis. The third form, described as jealous monomania by Mairet, has been noted to be characterized by thoughts of infidelity which is intense, preoccupying and leading to continual accusation, interrogation, checking and excessive sexual demands on spouse. It was described to have a chronic course for years with exacerbations and improvements but without development of psychosis or personality deterioration and with poor response to neuroleptics [6]. This form of morbid jealousy was recognized as a manifestation of Obsessive-compulsive Neurosis by authors like Shepherd, Mooney and Vauhkonen [7]. According to Shepherd, morbid jealousy accompanies several psychiatric states and treatment depends on the nature of the illness [7].

Table 3: The Changing Terminology of Jealousy

Mairet (1908)

Hyperesthetique

Monomanie

Folie

Jaspers (1910)

Personality development

___

Process occurrence

Freud (1922)

Projected

___

Delusional

Lagache (1947)

Reactive

Personality development

Process

Ey (1950)

Emotionally jealous

___

Delusions of jealousy

Revitch (1954)

Emotionally insecure

Conjugal paranoia

Psychotic

Mooney (1965)

Excessive

Obsessive

Delusional

The first clearly defined case of obsessional jealousy was by Mooney (1965) [8]. He reported 15 cases, 4 of which were identified as obsessive. He also pooled data of 4 authors. It is difficult to draw reliable conclusions from his analysis of pooled data due to indirect reporting, retrospective analysis and differing classificatory methods used. However, the 4 cases of obsessive jealousy he examined personally showed partial improvement with low doses of trifluoperazine but with poor tolerance to high doses, a noteworthy difference from the deluded group (Table 4 a & b).

 

Table 4 (a) List of Individual cases seen by Mooney, 1965 8

Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional

Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional
Mairet (1908) Hyperesthetique Monomanie Folie
Jaspers (1910) Personality development ___ Process occurrence
Freud (1922) Projected ___ Delusional
Lagache (1947) Reactive Personality development Process
Ey (1950) Emotionally jealous ___ Delusions of jealousy
Revitch (1954) Emotionally insecure Conjugal paranoia Psychotic
Mooney (1965) Excessive Obsessive Delusional

 

 

Table 4(b) Cases seen by Mooney, combined with 4 other authors 8


Classificn.

No. of Cases

Mean Age

M: F

Family H

Diagnosis

Rx & improvement

Delusional

Obsessional

Normal

Projective

Total:138

Late teens-60 years

3:1

Mood D

Jealousy

Alcoholism

Suicide

Delusional:

50%

Obsessional:< 50%

Del: 33%

Overall: 62%     

Docherty and Ellis (1976) raised the issue of obsessive jealousy [3]. However, their formulation was mainly psychodynamic and phenomenology was not stressed upon. Hoaken (1979) defined obsessive suspicions as unwelcome, repetitively intrusive thoughts recognized by the patient as ego dystonic [9]. However, Mc Kenna (1984) reviewed that such persons have a solitary abnormal belief and described it as an overvalued idea rather than an obsession [6].

With the advent of behavior therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder, the concept of obsessive jealousy moved a step further as several authors delineated its distinct phenomenology and response to behavioral interventions. Cobb and Marks (1979) defined jealous ruminations as obsessive thoughts with the resultant compulsive rituals of checking on spouse [7]. In their prospective study, they identified 4 cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder presenting as morbid jealousy and were the first to report treatment of such patients with behavior therapy. They concluded that morbid jealousy in OCD is treatable and rituals respond better than ruminations (Table 5).

Table 5: Cases treated with behavior therapy by Cobb and Marks, 1979 7


Cases

Age/Sex

Duration

(Years)

Compliance with BT

Medications

 Result (Rituals)

Result (Ruminations)

1

26/F

5

Poor

Not mentioned

No improvement

No improvement

2

37/F

20

Poor

Not mentioned

Much improvement

No improvement

3

30/M

10

Good

+(Desipramine)

Improvement

No improvement

4

27/F

5

Good

Not mentioned

Much improvement

Much improvement

Tarrier (1990) also described non-psychotic jealousy and likened jealous thoughts to obsessions, being intrusive, unpleasant, irrational and accompanied by behavioral actions like checking or reassurance seeking [4]. The preoccupation, confirmatory behavior, avoidance, distress and rumination described in non psychotic cases was suggestive of obsessions and responded to behavioral strategies commonly used in OCD. Dolan and Bishay (1996) used cognitive behavioral strategies to treat 30 patients of non-psychotic morbid jealousy and reported significant improvement in all jealousy measures, although they did not specify whether the patients were obsessive [10].

Since the arrival of antiobsesional drugs in the scene, several authors have described cases of obsessional jealousy showing good response to SSRI and clomipramine, a synopsis of which is presented in Table 6 [11-17]. These patients commonly presented with thoughts of possible infidelity of partner, recognized as unwanted and doubtful, resulting in anxiety on separation. Most patients harangued, asked for reassurance of spouse and spied on them. Ego dystonicity varied in patients, and Lane justified egosyntonic thoughts by the fact that OCD patients view their preoccupation as realistic when compulsions are prevented [11]. Taking this variability into consideration, Stein and Hollander (1994) put forth the notion of a spectrum from obsessional to delusional [13]. Parker and Barrett noticed absence of ego-dystony, resistance and guilt and called jealousy a variant of OCD [15]. Gangdev disputed the term ‘variant of OCD’, advocating the abandonment of the imprecise term morbid jealousy in favor of delusion or obsession [16]. The review by Kingham and Gordon (2004) emphasizing on form of psychopathology (obsession, overvalued idea or delusion) rather than content (jealousy) was thus timely to bring clarity to the concept [18].

Last but not the least, psychiatry is continually evolving from psychodynamic, cognitive and behavioral schools towards biological bases of psychiatric disorders, and sophisticated imaging techniques have implicated the basal ganglia and its circuits in the pathogenesis of obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is borne out by several organic cases of obsessional jealousy reported (Table 7), which reported good response to SSRIs [19][20][21].

 

Table 6: Cases seen by various authors after advent of antiobsessional drugs

Author

Age/ Sex

Comorbidity

Family History

Medication

Time for response

Result

Duration of illness

Belief strength

Lane, 1990 11

39/M

Mood D

Panic D

Nil

Imipramine 350 mg

Fluoxetine 60 mg/d

-

8 wk

-

v. improved

18 m

Unsure

Gross, 1991 12

34/F

Anxiety

Not mentioned

Fluoxetine 20 mg/d

4 wk

v. improved

19yrs

unsure

Stein, Hollander, 1994 13

35/M

38/M

33/M

43/F

42/F

 

55/F

OCD

OCD

Dysthymia

OCD, S. phobia

None

 

OCD

Not mentioned

Imipramine, 300 mg

Fluoxetine 80mg

Fluoxetine 80 mg +pimozide 1mg

Fluoxetine 80 mg

Fluoxetine 30 mg

Clomipramine 50 mg, +pimozide 1 mg

Sertraline 200 mg

-

12 wk

12 wk

12 wk

12 wk

12 wk

 

12 wk

-

mod. Improved

mod. improved

much improved

much improved

v. much improved

min improved

20 y

Adolescence

Few yrs

Not mentioned

2 y

 

3 y

Unsure

Excessive

No insight

Excessive

Near delusion

 

excessive

Wright, 199414

36/F

Dysthymia

OCD (esp. jealousy)

Fluoxetine 40 mg

6 wk

v.much improved

15 y

Recognized as irrational

Parker, Barrett, 199715

54/M

Mood D

OCPD

Trichotillomania

Not mentioned

Clomipramine,

ERP

4 wk

v. much improved

4 wks

Recognized as excessive

Gangdev, 1997 16

25/F

Depression

Gambling

Not mentioned

Fluoxetine 20 mg

2 wk

v.much improved

adolescence

Recognized as untrue

Lawrie, 199817

33/F

None

Mood disorder

Clomipramine 60 mg

3 wk

v.much improved

9 m

excessive


Table 7: Organic Obsessional Jealousy

Author

Age/Sex

Organic Disorder

Duration of illness

Medication

Response

Wing (1994)19

37/M

Head injury

5 yrs

Fluoxetine 20 mg/d

Improved

Westlake (1999)20

20/F

Cerebrovascular Infarction (R parietal & basal ganglia)

3 yrs

Paroxetine 40mg/d (6 wks)

Improved

Chacko (2000)21

76/F

Bilateral basal ganglia infarct

4 yrs

Fluoxetine 40mg/d

Improved



Case Series:


The 7 cases reported in the series were from a General Hospital Psychiatry Unit in India seen by us over a span of 2 years. An illustrative case is presented below. The clinical characteristics and treatment results of all patients are tabulated in Table 8.

Illustrative Case:


Mr. A., a 38-year-old married man had repeated thoughts about his wife’s possible infidelity since their marriage 19 years ago. He had repeated thoughts that his wife was not faithful and would object to his wife talking with any male. He was unsure about the truth of these thoughts, considering them excessive and unreasonable and developed guilt as a result. With the birth of their first child a year after marriage, he had repeated doubts that the child was not his. These thoughts led to checking on his wife all the time, questioning her meticulously regarding her whereabouts, leading to marital discord. In addition his occupational performance as a typist deteriorated markedly due to repeated thoughts. He continued to suffer similarly for 19 years and never sought psychiatric consultation. Mr. A also attempted to harm himself thrice due to guilt over his unwanted thoughts during his illness. 2 months before presentation to our institution, he developed depressive features in addition. His sister persuaded him and brought him to the psychiatrist for consultation. On evaluation, Mr. A. admitted that most likely his doubts were excessive and unnecessary. There were no other obsessions/ compulsions or delusions or substance misuse. Family history revealed similar illness in his maternal grandfather and obsessions of contamination in his accompanying sister. A diagnosis of obsessional jealousy was entertained on the basis of findings. Baseline assessment on YBOCS severity scale revealed score of 28. Mr. A. responded to Fluoxetine 40 mg/d with Clomipramine 25 mg/d. Within 4wks there was 50 % improvement and at 12 weeks he reported complete improvement and YBOCS rating was 0. He scored 1 (very much improved) on Clinical Global Improvement scale. He was maintained on the same dose and improvement was sustained.

Case

Age/ Sex

Durn. Of illness

Other Obsession/

Compulsion

Family H

Comorbid diagnosis

Previous Rx

CGI score

(previous treatment)

Current Rx

CGI score

Time for best response

1.

38/M

18 yrs

None

OCD

Depression

None

Not applicable

Fluoxetine40 mg+ clomipramine 25 mg

1

12 wk

2.

24/M

4yrs

None

OCPD

None

Olanzapine (1 month)

4

Fluoxetine 60 mg

1

12 wk

3.

34/M

3 1/2yrs

Counting

None

OCPD

Haloperidol (3 months)

4

Fluoxetine 40 mg+ clonazepam 0.5 mg

1

6 wk

4.

22/M

6m

Fear of disease, checking

Not known

None

None

Not applicable

Clomipramine 50 mg

1

2 wk

5.

34/F

17 yrs

Counting

Mood D

None

None

Not applicable

Fluoxetine 40 mg

1

12 wks

6.

25/M

1 yr

Checking, washing, touching

None

None

None

Not applicable

Fluoxetine, Clomipramine

1

3 wks

7.

45/M

20 yrs

None

None

Impulse control, Tics

None

Not applicable

Clomipramine 62.5 mg

1

8 wk


Table 8: Clinical Characteristics of patients and treatment response
Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Key: 1: very much improved, 2: much improved, 3: minimally improved, 4: no change, 5: minimally worse, 6: much worse


Discussion:


The study of jealousy has the problem of attempting a scientific account of a term derived from everyday language, resulting in a conceptual fuzziness. Moreover, the concept of morbid jealousy has been influenced by the changing face of psychiatry and the influences of psychoanalytic, cognitive, social and biological schools of thought, thus becoming the proverbial elephant, easier to recognize than define. Its initial recognition as a syndrome is understandable in this context, but the need has come to modify this concept. Emphasis on content (i.e. jealousy) was relevant for the psychoanalytic and cognitive schools of thought, but with the growing importance of phenomenology and later psychopharmacology, delineation of form (obsession, overvalued idea and delusion) became increasingly important for adopting appropriate interventions.

The sprinkling of case reports on obsessional jealousy have not found their way into standard psychiatric literature like reference textbooks and even exhaustive checklists like YBOCS, probably leading to a vicious cycle of under recognition and underreporting. Perhaps the prime reason for diagnostic confusion is its difference from classical OCD. From the literature reviewed and our case series, we were able to delineate some of the differences (Table 9). Non-recognition may lead to cases being treated as a variant of delusional disorder, albeit responding poorly to neuroleptics. However, Kozak and Foa (1994) have questioned the traditional assumption of insight and resistance in OCD [21] and DSM IV has recognized poor insight in OCD.

Table 9
OCD or Variant of OCD? Key differences from OCD


  • Little resistance and distress associated with obsessional thoughts
  • Anger specifically directed at spouse
  • Jealousy evident only in a committed relationship
  • Frequently monosymptomatic
  • Frequently responds at lower doses of SSRI
  • Rapid response in comparison with classical OCD

 

Thus an emphasis on the form of thought as delusion, or obsession rather than content during evaluation of the jealous patient will help clinicians avoid such dilemmas. Kingham and Gordon (2004) have provided a guideline for assessing the jealous patient, which is a progressive step towards recognition of this entity [18].

The apparent rarity of the symptom as evidenced by our literature search was not validated in our clinical practice where we encountered several such cases. Apart from the non-recognition of symptoms, possible reasons for this might be a reluctance to consult psychiatrists due to patient’s secretiveness, failure to recognize it as a sign of illness (as interrogation is borne by spouse) and the shame and guilt associated with obsessive thoughts. Delayed psychiatric consultation and the chronic course described in literature is evident from the long treatment gap in most of our cases.

Obsessional jealousy might have social, legal and forensic implications, highlighted by authors like Mooney, Hoaken and Kingham [8][9][18]. In our cases, a trip to the psychiatrist was the last resort to save the marriage. Many such cases probably end in divorce especially in the west, while in our society the spouse suffers in silence. In western literature, women also have been reported frequently to have obsessional jealousy, whereas we have encountered only one woman, which may be due to our social set up. Domestic violence and homicide are reported to be risks in such patients, as evidenced by murders and murder-suicides reported. Harm to self is a distinct possibility as in the case cited by Mooney [8]. In our patients, we did not find domestic violence in any case, although one of our patients did attempt suicide several times before presenting at our center. As there is a possibility that many such cases end in divorce, the question arises what can be done for these failed marriages?

Conclusion:


It is the need of the hour to redefine terms like ‘morbid jealousy’ and encourage clinicians to specify the nature of ‘morbid’ belief (like obsession or delusion). It would help if terms like obsessional jealousy are standardized and brought into mainstream psychiatric literature and checklists of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It would be beneficial if future research focuses on systematic studies in patients of OCD to find out the existence of obsessional jealousy in such patients.

REFERENCES:


1. Mullen, PE (1991). Jealousy: The Pathology of Passion. Br J Psychiatry.158, 593-601
2. Enoch, MD, Ball, HN (2004). The Othello Syndrome. In: Enoch MD, Ball HN, Eds.Uncommon Psychiatric Syndromes. Fourth Edition. Arnold, pg.50
3. Docherty, JP, Ellis, J (1976). A new concept and finding in morbid jealousy. Am J Psychiatry,133, 679-83
4. Tarrier, N, Beckett, R, Harwood, S, Bishay, N (1990). Morbid Jealousy: A Review and Cognitive- Behavioral Formulation. Br J Psychiatry, 157, 319-26
5. Marazziti, D, Nasso, E, Masala, I, Baroni, S, Abelli, M, Mengali, F et al (2003). Normal and obsessional jealousy: a study of a population of young adults. Eur Psychiatry,18, 106-11
6. McKenna,PJ (1984). Disorders with overvalued ideas. Br J Psychiatry,145, 579-85
7. Cobb, JP, Marks, IM (1979). Morbid jealousy featuring as Obsessive- Compulsive Neurosis: Treatment by Behavioral psychotherapy. Br J Psychiatry, 134, 301-5
8. Mooney, HB (1965). Pathologic jealousy and Psycho chemotherapy. Br J Psychiatry, 111, 1023-42
9. Hoaken, PCS (1976). Jealousy as a symptom of psychiatric disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 10, 47-51
10. Dolan, M, Bishay, N (1996). The effectiveness of cognitive therapy in the treatment of non-psychotic morbid jealousy. Br J Psychiatry, 168 , 588-93
11. Lane, RD (1990). Successful Fluoxetine treatment of Pathological Jealousy. J Clin Psychiatry, 51 , 345-6
12. Gross, MD (1991). Treatment of pathological jealousy by Fluoxetine. Am J Psychiatry,148 , 683-4
13. Stein, DJ, Hollander, E, Josephson, SC (1994). Serotonin reuptake blockers for the treatment of Obsessional Jealousy. J Clin Psychiatry, 55 , 30-33
14. Wright, S (1994). Familial obsessive-compulsive disorder presenting as pathological jealousy successfully treated with Fluoxetine. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 51, 430-1
15. Parker, G, Barrett, E (1997). Morbid jealousy as a variant of obsessive- compulsive disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 31, 133-8
16. Gangdev, PS (1997). Obsession with infidelity: another case and some views. Aust N Z J Psychiatry, 31 , 772-3
17. Lawrie, SM (1998). Attacks of jealousy that responded to Clomipramine. J Clin Psychiatry, 59, 317-8
18. Kingham, M, Gordon, H (2004). Aspects of morbid jealousy. Advances in Psychiatric treatment, 10, 207-15
19. Wing, YK, Lee, S (1994). A patient with coexisting narcolepsy and morbid jealousy showing favourable response to fluoxetine. Postgrad Med J , 70 (819), 34-36
20. Westlake, RJ, Weeks, SM (1999). Pathological jealousy appearing after cerebrovascular infarction in a 25-year-old woman. Aust N Z J Psychiatry , 33 (1), 105-7
21. Chacko, RC, Corbin, MA, Harper, RG (2000). Acquired Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder associated with Basal Ganglia Lesions. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci, 12, 269-272
22. Foa, EB, Kozak, MJ (1994). Obsessions, Overvalued Ideas and Delusions in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Behav Res Ther, 32 (3), 343-353

 

Appendix of Cases:


Case 2:
Mr. B., a 24-year-old married man, was brought to the psychiatrist by his wife, as he had repeated thoughts regarding his wife’s possible infidelity since their marriage 3 months back. Prior to his marriage, he had similar thoughts while in a relationship 4 years back, but had not sought treatment as he had terminated the relationship and the thoughts had subsided. After his marriage, he again developed similar thoughts, which he considered unreasonable. He repeatedly questioned his wife regarding her daily activities, resulting in marked impairment in marital life and occupational functioning, so much so that his family sought consultation from a psychiatrist. He was treated with olanzapine at adequate doses for 1 month without any relief, following which his wife consulted our institution. On evaluation, Mr. B admitted to his thoughts being excessive and unreasonable although he was unable to resist them. No other obsessions/compulsions or delusions were present and there was no history of substance misuse. Family history revealed obsessive-compulsive personality traits in father. He scored 31 on initial YBOCS scoring. Mr. B. was treated with Fluoxetine 60 mg/d. Within 6 weeks, he reported 70% relief and at 12 weeks there was complete improvement, with YBOCS score of 0, which was maintained on follow up.


Case 3:
Mr. C., a 34 year old man married for 12 years, presented with complaints of thoughts regarding possible unfaithfulness of his wife for the past 3 ½ years. He had previously consulted a psychiatrist a year back and was prescribed antipsychotics at adequate doses without any response. Subsequently his wife brought him to our institution as his illness was leading to significant marital problems and some occupational impairment in his factory. On evaluation, he admitted to these thoughts being excessive and he resisted them unsuccessfully which resulted in checking on his wife’s activities, failing which he would develop anxiety. Mr. C. developed mental rituals of counting backwards in order to decrease anxiety. In addition, he had compulsion of repeated counting of objects at work. No other obsessions/compulsions/ delusions were present and there was no history of substance misuse. Obsessive-compulsive personality traits were present premorbidly. A diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder was made. Baseline YBOCS score was 24.Mr. C. was started on Fluoxetine 40 mg/d and Clonazepam 0.5 mg. Within 4 weeks, he reported 80 % improvement and in 6 weeks he reported full improvement, with YBOCS score of 0 and CGI score of 1.

Case 4:
Mr. D., a 22 year old unmarried man presented alone with suspicion regarding possible infidelity of his girlfriend for 6 months. He admitted that his thoughts were unreasonable but he was unable to stop them resulting in spying on his girlfriend in order to reduce doubts. He also had repeated checking compulsions. 1 1/2 months back, he had a homosexual encounter, following which he developed recurrent excessive but uncontrollable thoughts of contacting HIV, resulting in repeated check-ups and investigations to rule out the same. His illness resulted in considerable impairment in social life and his academic performance deteriorated. Mr. D was diagnosed as having obsessive-compulsive disorder and YBOCS score was 26. Mr. D. was treated with clomipramine 50 mg/d. On follow up 2 weeks later, he reported complete improvement in symptoms, with a CGI score of 1.
Case 5:
Mrs. E, a 34-year-old married woman presented alone with suspicions regarding possible infidelity of her husband for 17 years, ever since her marriage, which she realized were unreasonable but was unable to control. She reported low self-esteem since childhood, which aggravated after onset of recurrent thoughts. She also reported guilt feelings due to the thoughts of infidelity resulting in impairment in work and family life. Along with this, she also had various counting compulsions. There was no history suggestive of delusions or substance misuse. Mrs. E was treated with Fluoxetine 40 mg/d. Within 3 weeks, she reported 50% improvement in thoughts of infidelity, although her counting compulsions continued. There was complete improvement in thoughts of infidelity at same dose after 12 weeks.
Case 6:
Mr. F, a 25 year old man married for 1 year presented alone with repetitive thoughts regarding the possibility that his wife was having illicit relations. He unsuccessfully resisted such thoughts, considering them to be unreasonable, frequently resulting in stalking and repeated interrogation of his wife. He consulted our institution after one year of onset of illness. He readily admitted that his thoughts were possibly unreasonable. He also had compulsions to touch his private parts, checking compulsions and washing rituals. There was no history suggestive of delusions or substance misuse. He was treated with Clomipramine (75mg) and Fluoxetine (20 mg) with complete improvement in 3 weeks.
Case 7:
Mr. H, a 45 year old married man presented with suspicions regarding his wife’s character since his marriage 20 years back. He would repeatedly question her during sexual intercourse as well as otherwise regarding her past and present relations with other men. He would frequently check on her activities and spy on her to confirm whether his suspicions were true, with marked marital discord. He continued similarly for 20 years, when he came to the institution on the insistence of his wife. On evaluation, he admitted to these thoughts being excessive, but was unable to resist them. In addition, on evaluation, he was also found to have features of intermittent explosive disorder, and facial tics. There were no delusions or substance misuse. A diagnosis of OCD was made and he scored 21 on YBOCS. He was treated with Clomipramine 50 mg, increased to 62.5 mg. He reported complete improvement in all symptoms within 8 weeks of starting treatment. Final YBOCS score was 0 and CGI was 1.

 

Authors

ARUN LATA AGARWAL, M.D. (Psychiatry)
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Maulana Azad Medical College and G. B. Pant Hospital,
New Delhi, India

DEVDUTTA BISWAS, M.D. (Psychiatry)
Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry
Maulana Azad Medical College and G. B. Pant Hospital,
New Delhi, India

SANJAY AGARWAL, M.D. (Psychiatry), M.R.C.Psy
NHS Consultant,
Durham and Darlington, United Kingdom

Correspondence:
Dr. A.L.Agarwal, M.D.,
D-5, Type IV Quarters,
Maulana Azad Medical College Campus
New Delhi 110002
Phone: 011-23239457

First Published April 2007

Copyright © Priory Lodge Education Ltd. 2007

Home • Journals • Search • Rules for Authors • Submit a Paper • Sponsor us   
priory.com
Home
Journals
Search
Rules for Authors
Submit a Paper
Sponsor Us

Google Search


Advanced Search

 

Default text | Increase text size