Clinical features

The person's belief in the other's infidelity is absolute and brooks no contradiction. There is much associated irritability, despondency, and, in some cases, aggressiveness. An ever-increasing proportion of time is spent searching for spurious 'proofs', and 'clues' are pounced upon and misinterpreted; for example, an innocent stain is believed to be semen. The victim is put through endless interrogations and is kept under constant surveillance.

Paradoxically, when the jealous individual is questioned closely about his or her specific charges, details prove vague, there is irritability, and there are self-justifying repetitive statements. Evidence is always about to be produced but rarely materializes. Strangely too, the jealous person often avoids taking the action which might provide definite proof of guilt or innocence, and this passivity in the midst of intensiveness may be evidence of some volitional defect.

As noted, delusional jealousy is more commonly reported in men, but this is probably an artefact due to their greater likelihood of violence. Also, there is a link between chronic alcohol abuse, as well as amphetamine and cocaine abuse, and delusions of jealousy, and it is known that these substance abuses are more common in males.

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