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Case study 5 psychosis

A 45 year old man was admitted to a

psychiatric hospital because of a psychotic
illness: he had been hallucinating and
believed there was a conspiracy against him.

While in hospital, he began to protest that his

wife of twenty years, who visited him, is not
my wife but a double, adding something has
happened to her: she has been replaced. I
love my wife very much but not that woman

What is this condition?

Is it a common condition?

What are the psychiatric disorders



study 6 - psychosis

A 41 year old single woman who worked as

a secretary in a law firm suddenly
developed amorous feelings for a married,
highly respected solicitor who worked in a
neighbouring firm.

She became convinced that whenever he

passed the window of the office in which
she worked, he sent her private and secret
signals indicating that he was in love with

She knew that he was planning to leave his

wife and children in order to set up home
with her.

Over time she plagued him, sending

sexually explicit letters to his office, and on
one occasion turned up at his home and
confronted him in front of his wife.

What is this condition?


study 7 - psychosis

A 50 year old man developed a belief that

his wife was unfaithful after she had been
out alone with friends on a day trip. He
knew that she had developed a
relationship with a friendly neighbour.

He detected evidence of the liaison in the

form of subtle changes in her demeanour
when she returned from shopping trips.

He went to great lengths to verify her

accounts of her shopping trips, for instance
by checking that the bar codes on the
goods she bought corresponded with the
retail outlets which she claimed she had

He checked her underwear for evidence of

sexual activity, and would spend hours
questioning and badgering her in order to
obtain a confession.


study 8 - psychosis

Two sisters, Sarah aged 76 Susan aged 72

were both admitted to hospital as they said
that their neighbours were trying to poison
them by pumping gas into their home via
the chimney.

Sarah had been diagnosed with paranoid

schizophrenia many years previously. Susan
had previously been mentally healthy.


study 8- psychosis

A woman aged 43 years was referred to mental

health services after she had first presented to a

She had complained of an itching sensation under

her skin, which she believed , was caused by small
insects that had invaded her house two years

She had gone to great lengths to sterilize and

fumigate her house, and she frequently bathed her
skin with antiseptics purchased from a supermarket.

Case study 8 B Psychosis

A 70 year old man presented to the dermatology clinic

with a complaint of itching of his skin and small worms
crawling out of his ears, nose and corners of his eyes.

He carried with him a small bottle into which he had

put some of the worms he had captured coming out of
his body. He became angry when told that the bottle
had just some skin scrapings.

When the doctor referred him to the psychiatric clinic,

he screamed at the doctor that he is not mental and
stormed out of the dermatology clinic

This condition is called delusional parasitosis.

It is difficult to treat but some patients get some

relief with antipsychotics or/and antidepressants.

Most patients will not accept they have a psychiatric

condition and will not take psychiatric medications

The doctor has to be very tactful in handling these

patients and try to help them as they really suffer.