Folie a deux (“madness of two”) is also known as shared psychosis. Without getting too much into the medical terminology or in any way implying that this is anything other than a layman’s list, folie a deux is when two or more people share the same delusions.
Usually, folie a deux occurs when people are very close. Sufferers are often related by ancestry or marriage. Sometimes, they are just living together. The disorder has a high correlation with people who are isolated outsiders, but this is not always the case.
Sometimes, participants in folie a deux are harmless people whose delusions only affect themselves. Other times, they are criminals who hurt or even murder people.
Whatever they do, it’s an interesting psychological phenomenon that seems outlandish and impossible to the average person, even though it has happened repeatedly.
10. ‘Margaret And Michael’
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In the 19th century, the first reported case of folie a deux involved “Margaret and Michael,” a married couple. Both were 34 years old. They shared delusions that certain people they knew were persecuting them.
Together, they agreed that these unnamed persecutors were entering their house, spreading around dust and fluff, and wearing down the couple’s shoes.
Although the real identities of Margaret and Michael will most likely never be discovered, they are notable less for their issues with fluff and shoe use and more as the first couple diagnosed with folie a deux.