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Folie à Deux



Folie à Deux and Diogenes Syndrome:

Understanding and Treating These Complex Disorders


Diogenes Syndrome and Folie à Deux Two are two of the most interesting and perplexing disorders that I have read about . In this post, I will explain what these disorders are, how they are diagnosed, and what can be done to treat them.


Folie à Deux: What Is It and How Is It Diagnosed?


Folie à Deux, also known as shared psychotic disorder, is a rare disorder in which two or more people share a delusional belief. The delusion is usually triggered by a close relationship, such as a family member, romantic partner, or close friend. The person who initially develops the delusion is known as the "primary" or "inducer" and the other person who adopts the delusion is known as the "secondary."If one person develops the delusion first and "infects" another it is called folie communiquée. If both develop it at the same time it is called folie simultanée.


Diagnosing Folie à Deux can be challenging because the primary and secondary individuals may be reluctant to seek help, and the delusion may be deeply entrenched. However, some signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Shared delusions between two or more people who have a close relationship

  • Unusual or bizarre behaviour that is consistent with the delusion

  • Lack of insight into the delusion by the primary and secondary individuals

If you suspect that someone you know may have Folie à Deux, it is important to encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional.


Diogenes Syndrome: What Is It and How Is It Diagnosed?


Diogenes Syndrome can be a specific manifestation of Folie à Deux - characterised by extreme self-neglect, social withdrawal, and hoarding behaviours. People with Diogenes Syndrome may refuse to bathe or clean their living space, may wear dirty or tattered clothing, and may collect large amounts of objects that are of no practical value. Diogenes Syndrome is often associated with other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.

Diagnosing Diogenes Syndrome can be difficult because it is a relatively rare disorder, and people with Diogenes Syndrome may be reluctant to seek help. However, some signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Extreme self-neglect

  • Social isolation

  • Hoarding of objects

  • Poor hygiene

  • Refusal to accept help from others

If you suspect that someone you know may have Diogenes Syndrome, it is important to encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional.


Treatment Options for Diogenes Syndrome and Folie à Deux


Treating Folie à Deux and Diogenes Syndrome can be challenging, and there is no single approach that works for everyone. However, some treatment options that may be helpful include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address underlying mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety

  • Medications to manage symptoms, such as antipsychotic medications or antidepressants

  • Family therapy to address any dysfunctional relationship dynamics that may be contributing to the disorder

In some cases, hospitalisation may be necessary if the individual is at risk of harming themselves or others. However, with the right treatment and support, many people with Diogenes Syndrome or Folie à Deux can make significant improvements in their symptoms and overall quality of life.


Below are some Hollywood movies that depict Folie à Deux:



  1. Black Swan (2010)

  2. The Machinist (2004)

  3. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

  4. Blue Jasmine (2013)

  5. Perfect Blue (1997)

It's important to note that these movies are fictional and may not accurately reflect the real-life experiences of individuals with Folie à Deux.


Diogenes Syndrome and Folie à Deux are complex and challenging disorders that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. However, with awareness and understanding, it is possible to provide effective help and support to those who are affected by these disorders




Reference: Work by B.A.Sharpless

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