De-Clerambault’s Sydrome is a form of mental or psychological abnormality which can be caused by some severe shock such as being rejected by a friend or partner whom one had loved and trusted passionately.
It is similar to schizophrenia and can be caused by the trauma of falling from an exalted position to a humiliating status. It is usually associated with personal tragedies which reduce the self-esteem of an individual.
Although this ailment is more common among women, it is not an exclusive feminine malady, except that men have greater means of giving vent to personal agonies.
De-Clerambault’s Syndrome in women takes the form of obsessive love or “foolish” attachment to men who do not care about or take any interest in them. It is a situation whereby a woman gets fixated on a particular man, not because the man woos or takes interest in her.
It may be that the man symbolizes some ideal in a woman’s psyche but which has become difficult for her to actualize in real life. It can also be that the man that she gets fixated upon reminds her of something which she once cherished but lost in a chocking manner. There can also be a reverse form of this malady whereby a woman develops a pathological and inexplicable hatred for a man.
Medical doctors who become too close to their patients can become victims of lonely women who see in their “loving and caring” doctors the ideal husbands or friends which they failed to have in real life. It is common to find people who had passed through some trauma and severe emotional shocks, turn to the person who provided them emotional rescue and succour, with great passion. Such initial gratitude for a kind gesture in a time of distress can become a permanent psychological feature. The person who provided such succour may not be aware that someone is longing to have him as a partner.
Perhaps those who had suffered severe deprivations can become obsessed and cling on emotionally to those who offered them succour at critical moments. This is quite natural with human beings but, for those recovering from emotional shocks, there is a longing for “someone to lean on”. There is usually some enthusiasm and hysteria associated with this emotional malady, whereby the patient behaves in irrational and often childish manner.
Since their unattainable longings are achieved only in a state of fancy or illusion, utterances and behaviours of victims of this malady tend to give them some satisfaction of accomplishment. Men who are afflicted by this malady can tell pathetic stories about their great exploits which they claim no one values.
Those whose professions involve interacting with people in a state of agony usually have the ordeal of having to listen to long, winding stories about their dream. Religious leaders can arouse the emotional attachment of victims of this psychological malady. The phenomenon may get to the point of idolization of a religious leader by a female adherent. Women with troubled hearts arising from various burdens usually find some solace in religion and religious leaders whom they get fixated upon.
There is usually some vacuum longing to be filled, such that a number of charismatic religious leaders unwittingly get into some embarrassing entanglements with some female members of their church. Unplanned multiple marriages have been known to arise from such initial fancies and platonic attachments to “spiritual fathers” which can split homes and congregations.
Housewives have been known to run away from their matrimonial houses, to join their idols, not because they were encouraged to do so, but often because of some irrational impulses or fixation. Sometimes those afflicted with this malady usually make fools of themselves and see anyone who discourages them in their irrational attachment as an enemy. Their big dream is always to have a blissful relationship with their fancy partners, no matter the wider implications.
It is a pity that this ailment is rarely recognised as a mild psychriatric problem, which it is. Men who become the target or point of fixation can experience some embarrassment as some irrational women keep trailing their paths and looking for opportunities to hook up for permanent relationships. Even when such women are driven away in a humiliating manner, they still continue with the illusion that one day they would get the attention of their idol.
The situation can be more embarrassing when the men involved in this plight are married and living happily with their wives. The situation can create some scandal and discord in the house, and it is in rare cases that wives would believe that their husbands are not deliberately encouraging such women.
There are cases where some desperate women go to the extent of alleging that they are having or expecting babies with men who had never had intimate affairs with them.
Parents have been known to disown daughters because of their irrational and obsessive attachment to some loafers, when responsible men had been rejected. In some cases, the persistence, pestering and enthusiasm of some desperate women have resulted in unions that turned out to be blessed and blissful. There have also been cases where some women insist that they were advised by “a power beyond” them to seek for companionship with a particular man. Parents who were hostile initially have been known to embrace their rejected daughters and their partners.
De-Clerambault’s Syndrome and external influences
In some cases victims of De-Clerambault’s Syndrome are under the influence of some external forces which they are unable to control personally. There are situations where discarnate human souls of evil nature can take possession and make use of the brain of some people, periodically. This results in such persons having some fixed ideas or irrational attachment to certain persons, conditions or objects. There are persons of both sexes, young and old, who have passionate and fond attachment to certain pet creatures which other people would consider abhorrent or dangerous.
De-Clerambault’s Syndrome can manifest in a mild or severe manner, but it is most prevalent among women who had gone through some traumatic shocks arising from frustrations and failed relationships. The situation can get worse if the victim does not have effective counselling or close family members or friends who can provide emotional support and stability during critical moments.
It is possible that the situation can degenerate into hallucinatory tendencies as a result of inner conflicts and self-rejection. With such occasional relapses, the patient can become susceptible to the invasion of alien radiations or energy seeking for expression. The chance of such invasion by external thought-energy is greater if the victim of shock or frustration resorts to taking alcoholic beverages or hard drugs.
Even among those who turn to religion in such conditions of depression, there is a possibility of further regression and relapse into irrational behaviours. This is more so with religious sects which place emphasis on speaking in tongues, vision and miracles. It is difficult to draw a line between genuine religious ecstasy and hallucinatory orgy. For women with severe personal emotional challenges fascination with sects which promise quick solutions can often lead to contacts with the psychic world which is like a vast deep ocean.
The higher depress of inner perception and receptivity among women can become a liability capable of exposing them to an invasion by external influences. Human through-forms and emotions coalesce into invisible units of energy according to their nature and contents. These thought-forms invade and intrude into minds that are open to them through shock, fear, depression and regression brought about by drugs, alcohol or even prayers.
Broken personal relationships and disappointments of various kinds which degenerate into frustration, depression and a feeling of rejection and worthlessness, form the foundation for De-Clerambault’s Syndrome. While men in such situations can vent their emotional trauma through various aggressive activities which can include sports and wife beating, women are more limited because of a strong feeling of shame. Some men and women who are not strong enough inwardly, can turn into crimes or a care-free life which can include lechery.
Another form of manifestation of De-Clerambault’s Syndrome is nihilism, ranging from hatred and aggression towards everybody and social institutions, to self-destructive tendencies. There is a total loss of sense of values or a feeling of moral compunction. Those who carry out suicide-bombing are often patients of this malady, whose feelings of rejection, worthlessness and hatred for humanity drive them into mindless activities.
However, there is something else of a positive nature about patients of De-Clerambault’s Syndrome. It has to do with a regression whereby memories of some past or childhood bliss and innocence come up to the surface, brining tears and an opportunity for a drastic change or turn-around. During such moment, if there is an effective control and counselling, a totally new and glorious person can emerge.
Controversial as it may be, recall of past, distant and cathartic experiences have taken place which had been investigated and confirmed. Such phenomena, known as Anamnesis, have facilitated a better understanding of issues which perplex humanity. How do you explain a situation where a man who nearly strangulated his wife, shouted in a frenzy: “You were a mother who strangulated me because you were ashamed to have me as a baby!” A true case! We have a great deal to learn!
Dr. Amirize is a retired lecturer at the Rivers State University, PH.