Relationship Health - When just keeping a Check becomes destructive - Real life cases

It's been 5yrs since Roshan and Maria (both names changed to maintain secrecy) got married. Not a single day has passed-by when some friend or family member hasn't been jealous and envious of this "picture-perfect couple"... In words of Maria herself, if they were to get 100 rupees for every "such a cute couple", "you both look perfect together" or "whats the secret of your happiness" compliment, they would be billionaires by now.

Roshan smiling and loosing himself into a bygone memory, told me how his friends would call him before or morning after a party and taunt "Hey dude, can next time you guys just tone it down!! Please don't look so good together, it becomes so difficult to handle comparisons at home later?"

But everything wasn't in the pink of health under this umbrella of love and perfection. Neither of them remembered when exactly the storm started. In the beginning it was just small naughty and playful taunts Maria would throw randomly onto Roshan. She would cutely and lovingly accuse him of eying other woman or finding them more attractive. He would play along and after a few minutes of teasing would finally end up professing his unconditional love for her. Like any other couple, it was all in good humor and a great way to spice up their relationship.

Somewhere down the line, things started to change. A year and half into marriage,
Under this umbrella of love and perfection, everything wasn't perfect. Even if they tried, they 
many times his friends questioned him,
5yrs ago. has been married since 5years. On wedding day, everyone who saw the couple couldn’t stop from commenting on the amazing compatibility and soul-connect they shared. For the next 5years they remained example of “picture-perfect love” to both family and friends.

Within the cocoon of their private life a disaster was waiting its turn to create havoc. Slowly over a period of time, her happy married life turned into a living inferno. She started believing that her husband was having an affair with his secretary. The stress of being cheated had bulldozed her mind to keep a constant track of him. She would call him 30 times a day, call his office 40times a day, would scrutinize his belonging and documents for any clues. What initially was seen as a cute lovely behavior slowly turned into a disastrous obsessive compulsive daily torture. The friends were the first to intervene. When they failed, matters were taken to the elders of the family. A number of detectives where secretly hired to make her believe in his faithfulness. Everything proved to be futile as she refused to believe anyone except herself.

After numerous holistic, elders and friends counseling failed to help her, she was brought to my mind mantra clinic. All this had already made her believe that everyone was supporting her husband. This naturally was the ultimate ploy to prove her mad, so he can get an easy divorce and marry that new girl.

On my initial interaction, I let her speak. She first pleaded and then cried. Finally she understood I was harmless in all respects, she started speaking. She spoke for 45min. She poured her heart out and trusted me with her deepest fears.
At the end of my evaluation, I concluded she was suffering from Othello Syndrome”

What is Othello Syndrome?
It’s a psychiatric in which a person holds a false, firm and fixed belief that their spouse or sexual partner is being unfaithful.

What are the symptoms of Othello Syndrome?
They are as following:
1. An affected person typically makes repeated accusations of infidelity based on insignificant or minimal evidence, often citing seemingly normal or everyday events or material to back up their claim.
2. They also take great pains to test their partner's fidelity and can go to considerable lengths to monitor their behavior and movements. For example- They might contact “private-detectives”, daily scrutinize the movements of their loved ones, or secretly follow their partners to work.
3. It starts with what seems as cute possessive behavior, but it can move into violent outburst of emotions. Episodes of verbal or physical abuse are commonly reported. Normally they come back pleading for sorry after such episodes are typical behaviors.
4. Constant preoccupation with this topic is noted in their thought and talk.

Who are susceptible to develop it ?
It’s found among both men and women. It can develop in any person. Normally the affected individual have one or more of the following:
a. inferiority complex – this can be due to low body image, low self-esteem.
b. High possessive behavior about friends
c. Lack of love or traumatic childhood.
d. sexual dysfunction.and a dis-satisfied sexual life.
d. Untreated long standing Clinical Depression
e. Alcoholism, cocaine addictions, cannabis addiction and ampthetamine addictions
f. Paranoid, schizoid, obsessive compulsive personality disorders
g. Family history or personal history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

What is the cure?
It’s an illness that develops over a period of time.
a. In initial stages- it can be treated with proper counseling.
b. In later stages- it causes change in secretion of neurochemical dopamine in the brain. It requires medications that help in bringing the level of dopamine to normal. A neuro-psychiatrist should be consulted in respect.

If you know someone who has such a problem or who shows signs of developing such problem, immediately help him. Timely intervention can bring him/her back to normalcy. They might not realize it at that stage, but will thank you all their life.


Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS, PGDPM)
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  1. I don't have words to appreciate the kind of work you are doing...and the knowledge that you are sharing with this world.

    I do not believe in GOD, but still I must say... GOD BLESS YOU.

  2. hi doctor..

    thanx for sharing it.. if someone is affected with this syndrom, how can we make that person realise it?

  3. interesting....
    have you heard about the Error management theory in connection to this?

  4. i think i was suffering from dis syndrome but i m nt sure...can v discuss dis doc?