Morbid jealousy

Morbid jealousy

Morbid jealousy (also known as Othello Syndrome or Delusional jealousy) is a psychiatric disorder in which a person holds a strong delusional belief that that their spouse or sexual partner is being unfaithful without having any, very little, or insignificant proof to back up their claim.



This disorder occurs when a person typically makes repeated accusations that that their spouse or sexual partner is being unfaithful, based on insignificant, minimal, or no evidence, often citing seemingly normal or everyday events or material to back up their claims.

Unlike other delusional disorders, people who suffer from this disorder have a strong association with stalking, cyberstalking, sabatoge, or even violence. It can be found in the context of schizophrenia and delusional disorder, such as bipolar disorder, but is also associated with alcoholism and sexual dysfunction and has been reported after neurological illness.

The name "Othello Syndrome" comes from the character in Shakespeare's play Othello, who murders his wife as a result of a false belief that she has been unfaithful. Recently some workers have asserted that Othello was deceived rather than deluded about Desdemona’s alleged infidelity and thus did not have ‘the Othello Syndrome’.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Crichton, P. Did Othello have 'the Othello Syndrome? Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. 1996;7(1):161-9. Available at
  • Enoch, D. & Ball, H. (2001) The Othello Syndrome. In Enoch, D. & Ball, H. Uncommon psychiatric syndromes (Fourth edition) pp50–73. London: Arnold. ISBN 0-340-76388-4

Further reading

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