Rick Lacey   Author/Ghostwriter

Folie à Deux

Among the 12 most mind blowing mental delusions and syndromes ever studied, far and away the most provocative, least understood, and most poetically named is Folie à Deux.

All studies done identify a primary sufferer whose symptoms were transferred on a secondary sufferer who was susceptible due to proximity, a shared family history of psychiatric illness, and his or her own similar past psychiatric history.

Though still generally considered rare, one study identified 64 cases and concluded that Folie à Deux can occur in many situations outside the current classification systems and is not as rare as believed.  It advised clinicians to be observant for unrecognized psychiatric problems in the secondary.

To date, all studies have fallen short in that none have identified a case in its purest and most perfect form as occurs in A Fan of Death and Shakespeare where both sufferers are primary in that they not only share the genetic predisposition and the family susceptibility to psychiatric illness but they both endured the same psychotic transformation event together at the same time.  In spite of the fact that the only detailed description of this most perfect form of psychosis only occurs in the pages of fiction, the psychological principles are sound and a real life example is certainly out there waiting to be discovered in reality.