Shared Craziness: Folie a Deux
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Shared Craziness: Folie a Deux

In the previous article we discussed Folie a Culte and we also touched on folie a deux. Today’s article will focus primarily on the shared psychiatric disorder, folie a deux. This type of shared mental disorder can result in a person doing something way out of his or her comfort zone, or the person could actually do something crazy.

Folie a deux is literally known as the folly of two people.  This doesn’t mean you have to do something illegal or something totally psychotic to engage in a folie a deux. You might just do something totally insane for you to do on your own. You might be a very conservative person, but someone else could come into your life and turn your reality upside down.

I am not a doctor, so I don’t diagnose mental illnesses. This article is meant to show examples of folie a deux, or shared craziness.  The shared craziness may be just be poor decisions, or they may be life altering decisions.

Someone I know very well is and was a very straight laced person.  She was very conservative in every way. She met this man who was exciting and he talked to her about going to a nudist park with him. At first she totally rejected the idea but the more they talked the more she thought that it wasn’t such a crazy idea. She went with him to the nudist park and felt perfectly at home.  She told me that her first time at the nudist park she didn’t have to take her close off if she didn’t want to, but if she wanted to get into the pool she would have to go in the nude.  She said she stripped, took the shower that you have to take before getting into the pool. She said it was totally natural for her and she felt at home. She said she was so comfortable that she even rubbed sun screen on another man’s back!

Her relationship with this man was a very short one. She only engaged in the nudist activity when she was with him. Talking to her about it, I asked her how she felt now about exposing her body like that. She said it seemed natural then, but she wouldn’t be caught dead in the nude now. This was a folie a deux. She did something crazy with the man she cared about at the time.

Folie a deux, shared craziness between two people, can lead to legal problems. You may know someone who did something he or she wouldn’t have ever done on his or her own. Jails and mental institutions are full of people who somehow got talked into doing things that go against their value systems.

I worked with a nurse who was always getting abused by her oldest son. He was on drugs, and quite volatile. She never seemed to do anything when he would put her in the hospital. One time she looked like she had been in a car wreck. After she got out of the hospital, she began talking to her son about how to stop her oldest son from hurting her. She never called the police and she never told her truck driver husband what really happened to her any time she was severely injured by her eldest son. He wasn’t home much, and not very plugged into his family dynamics.  

We learned everything after the fact, but the younger son shot and killed the older son. It took more than one shot to kill him. The mother was put in prison and the younger son is doing life in a mental institution. No one would have ever guessed that the youngest son would have ever participated in such an act as to shoot his own brother to death. Due to this folie a deux, both people are serving the rest of their lives in confinement.


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Comments (1)

good article, but to get the actual clinical term it does have to be considered abnormal behavior for socieity as a whole so nudist camps are not abnormal.  But yes you are right we all can do crazy things that we would not normally do