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Erotomania can be defined as a psychological disorder in which the person affected believes that another person, often a celebrity, is in love with them. The person is mistaken however, and the victim, if pursued, often feels as if they are stalked. The victim may not always be immediately affected, but if they are, they will feel extremely threatened. Although the root cause of this disorder has not been determined, it is believed that a lack of affection from a parent may have a lot to do with it. Most commonly it is a man striving for feminine attention that they did not receive growing up. Erotomania can be helped by medication and by therapy, but in some cases hospitalization may be required. Often victims of an erotomaniac are celebrities. For example, celebrities like Jodie Foster and David Letterman have been affected by an erotomaniac.

What is Erotomania?

Erotomania is defined as the affected person believing that another person, often a celebrity, is in love with them. Although their thinking is false, the person can and will go to extreme lengths to return the affection. The patient often believes that their secret admirer is sending secret messages by way of telepathy, special looks, or signals through the media. They too feel the need to return these advances by sending letters and gifts, calling, or showing up where the individual they admire is unexpectedly. The issue for the unsuspecting recipient is that no matter how much they deny these advances, the patient will only see it as their admirer trying to hide their love towards them so that the rest of the world doesn't find out. In reality, the recipient has no desire to be romantic towards the patient, and in fact, wants the patient to stop contacting them altogether.[1]


Erotomaniacs sometimes frequently call their victim, even though the call is never welcomed.

No one knows the exact reason why erotomania occurs. However, there are some common indicators that may help determine the root of this psychological disorder. One theory suggests that there was at one point a lack of affection either during infancy or during some duration of their lifetime. This usually points back to a lack of affection from a parent. More commonly, it is a lack of maternal care which is shown when a man with erotomania seeks after the love of a woman. It is believed that the man will desire the feminine side from a woman due to a lack of a feminine influence as a child. The true reason for erotomania is unknown, but it is defined as a psychological disorder that may be too complex to understand, at least at this time. [2]


Erotomania can be resolved with anti-psychotic medication in some cases. Combined with therapy, the medication can be very effective. In some extreme cases if the affected person stalks or is seen as a threat to their victim, hospitalization may be required.

In Popular Culture

It is fairly common for celebrities to be desired by an erotomaniac. One of the most common incidents happened to Jodie Foster. Foster was chased after many years by a man named John Hinckley Jr. As a result, Hinckley decided that he wanted to demonstrate his love for Foster by an extreme act. This act was an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. Although the assassination attempt was unsuccessful, Foster finally realized that the annoying stalker she tried to avoid was deadly serious. It is not common for an erotomaniac to demonstrate their affection in such serious ways, but it has still occurred. Other celebrities that have been affected by an erotomaniac include David Letterman and astronaut Story Musgrave, who were both stalked by the same delusional woman named Margaret Mary Ray. [3]


This short video shows a CNN report of erotomaniac John Hinkley's obsession with Jodie Foster.


  1. .Erotomania Princeton. Web. Accessed 16th December, 2013. Author Unknown.
  2. love fantasy of erotomania Articles Utiles. Web. Accessed 14th January, 2014. Author Unknown.
  3. Erotomania Good Therapy. Web. Last updated: 12-13-2013. Author Unknown.

Other mental illnesses