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Othello syndromeJoe Segen2016-12-07T00:58:44+00:00
A popular term for a delusion of spousal infidelity, a form of psychotic paranoia–i.e., a primary symptom or more commonly, a symptom secondary to an organic “psychopathy”–e.g., senile dementia, boxer encephalopathy, alcoholism.
Othello, Shakespeare’s tragic hero, killed his wife, Desdemona, when Iago led him to believe her unfaithful. Because Othello was responding in a reasonable–or at least, not unexpected–manner to Iago’s whisperings and deceit, Othello didn’t actually have Othello syndrome, which is delusional in nature. Othello believed Desdemona was unfaithful because of Iago’s treachery.
Synonyms Alcoholic paranoia, delusional jealousy, erotic jealousy, Othello paranoia, Othello psychosis, sexual jealousy