Morbid jealousy

by Dr Jens Wiebe, Dr Emmanuel Okoro and Dr David Reiss


Last updated: August 2017


'An old and recurring theme in human relationships, jealousy has been captured in myth, drama, literature, dance, sculpture, and painting, as well as in the popular press. Jealousy is also a major cause of murder, spousal violence, and marital breakdown. It has been estimated that up to 20% of all murders involve a jealous lover.' (White & Mullen, 1989)


The syndrome of morbid jealousy has serious risk implications that may easily be missed during psychiatric assessments due to the disorder's often subtle presentation alongside other mental disorders. Morbid jealousy is not a formal diagnosis under the DSM or ICD criteria; it is a disorder of content that can present in various forms such as delusions, overvalued ideas, obsessional ruminations or a combination of these.


This module covers the definition of morbid jealousy, along with its aetiology, epidemiology, associated risks, assessment and management. It also includes exercises and vignettes to aid your understanding of the assessment process.


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