font size

Definition of Othello syndrome

Othello syndrome: The delusion of infidelity of a spouse or partner. The Othello syndrome affects males and, less often, females. It is characterized by recurrent accusations of infidelity, searches for evidence, repeated interrogation of the partner, tests of their partner's fidelity, and sometime stalking. The syndrome may appear by itself or in the course of paranoid schizophrenia, alcoholism, or cocaine addiction. As in Othello, the play by Shakespeare, the syndrome can be highly dangerous and result in disruption of a marriage, homicide and suicide.

The Othello syndrome was named by the English psychiatrist John Todd (1914-1987) in a paper he published with K. Dewhurst entitled "The Othello Syndrome: a study in the psychopathology of sexual jealousy" (Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorder, 1955, 122: 367). Todd was also the first to name the Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

The Othello syndrome is also known as delusional jealousy, erotic jealousy syndrome, morbid jealousy, Othello psychosis, or sexual jealousy.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=25111
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Emotional Wellness

Get tips on therapy and treatment.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations