Erotomania: The Delusion of Being Loved

Within the subtypes of delirium disorder we can find erotomania. A disorder that is characterized by making the sufferer believe that the loved one also loves them, although this may be the opposite.
Erotomania: The Delusion of Being Loved
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 13 December, 2023

Ever since Elena met Martin, the CEO of the company she works for and one of the best leaders in the whole country, she’s been crazy in love with him.

She feels like she’s on cloud nine. A day doesn’t go by without her talking about him to her co-workers. The problem is that her girlfriends don’t agree with her.When Martin says good morning, Elena says that he looks at her seductively.

Even though, in truth, the only thing he does is stare at his phone.Elena says that he even changed his cologne to impress her. What she doesn’t know is that the new scent was a birthday gift from his sister. What could be happening?  Elena suffers from erotomania.

Erotomania is also known as Clerambault syndrome. It is a psychological disorder in which a person mistakenly believes they are loved by someone of higher social status or is somehow unattainable.

This delusional conviction is usually manifested by women, although there have been some isolated cases in men. The approximate age at which it tends to appear is 30 or older. It appears above all in people who are currently single.

How is it possible for people with erotomania to not notice that everything they believe is a mistake? How can they see this supposed interest shown by the other person, doesn’t exist?

The answer is simple. These individuals believe it’s real because they are victims of a mistaken interpretation of their own reality. Their perception of reality is the result of delirium.

“And, more than for the enjoyment and the delirium, I love you for the anguish and the doubt.”
-Xavier Villaurrutia-

Fictional love stories

If you step into the shoes of a person affected by this disorder, you might be able to understand it a little better. How many times have you liked someone and misinterpreted their signs?

Maybe we perceived a smile or kind word as a sign of shared feelings. Although soon we realized whether or not we were right.

Woman with butterfly wings.

People who suffer from erotomania undergo something similar. Only that they create a love story that never began in the first place. Also, their delusional idea revolves around an idealized romantic relationship.

In some cases, they refer to these relationships as a spiritual bond with their supposed partner (who is also a victim).

Thus, erotomania is built slowly based on gestures  the other person supposedly manifests, although it’s truly not the case. A glance, a simple greeting or a smile are interpreted as secret symbols of love by the affected individual.

“At times, the object of their illusion may not even exist in the real world.” 

The consequences of erotomania

Despite the rejection or denial that their “loved one” may manifest, the individual with erotomania doesn’t care about or believe it. They are completely convinced that their love is real.

Thus, in their delusional world, they will invent any reason to justify why the other person is still not aware of this profound feeling. Or, simply, they believe the other person is too shy to accept and admit it in front of other people.

Naked woman holding her chest.

As you can see, this type of delusion can be very serious and at times persistent, requiring psychological treatment. In some cases, it might even require psychiatric treatment.

In fact, it might not just present in an isolated way. It might present as a part of other clinical conditions, such as paranoid schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder.

Plus, the individual with it may experience a tough emotional blow when faced with events such as the wedding or the birth of a child of the person who supposedly loves them.

Without a doubt, it’s likely that after that initial honeymoon phase, over time the person with erotomania will suffer. Because they will keep imagining a relationship exists with someone who actually doesn’t share their feelings.

Do I suffer from erotomania?

If you have asked yourself this question, you should check everything we have mentioned above. As we’ve already cited, we have all probably mistakenly thought our feelings were reciprocated at some point. But this has nothing to do with an erotomaniac delusion or Clerambault syndrome.

“My pain is continuous and my failure evident and my delusion constant.” 

Girl laying in the center of a giant flower: erotomania

Erotomania in extreme cases can even lead the individual to construct a false reality. One which includes sexual relationships which don’t exist, psychological pregnancies, or obsessive behaviors of control over the other person.

Then, when is it a true disorder? When, despite the distance, ignoring, and rejections, we believe that we’re loved and reciprocated. When the other person is completely inaccessible, but we still believe that they are in love with us. And, above all, when a specialized professional has diagnosed it.

If you think that you may suffer from this disorder, see a specialist. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.