Induced delusional disorder: clinical case

Skaidra Bieliūnaitė1, Gabija Balandytė1, Vigintas Vilkas2

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania

2Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry, Kaunas, Lithuania


Background. induced delusional disorder is the sharing of delusional ideas and/or abnormal behavior from one person to one or more others who are closely related to the patient who is primarily affected. The incidence of this disorder ranges from 1.7 to 2.6% among psychiatric hospital patients, the baseline prevalence is still difficult to estimate due to underreporting and often underdiagnosis.

Case presentation. There is described a clinical case of a 46-year-old woman, who developed an induced delusional disorder while living with a husband diagnosed with schizophrenia. The mental condition of the patient’s husband worsened especially after joining a religious community. In the same year the patient’s mental condition began to deteriorate – thoughts of self-blame and self-loathing appeared, she was consulted by a psychiatrist. The patient experienced the isolation caused by the pandemic, fell ill with the COVID-19 disease, when her mental condition worsened, delusional symptoms intensified.

Conclusions. Induced delusional disorder develops in socially isolated individuals who are in close contact with the patient and who experience changes and challenges in their lives. The effects of induced delusional disorder include social, physical and psychological components, therefore a thorough identification of risk factors, detailed diagnosis and treatment, which depends on the prognosis, are required.

Keywords: delusions, induced delusional disorder, psychotic disorder.

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