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New cases of erotomania in men, plus cases from the literature, were analysed to explore any association between erotomania and dangerousness, and to identify possible predictors.
Files at two in-patient facilities were examined to determine the presence of DSM–III–R delusional disorder, erotomanic type. The sample (13 cases) was divided into dangerous and benign groups on the basis of serious antisocial behaviour directly related to erotomanic delusions. These cases were combined with all reports of erotomania in men (16 cases), found in the English language psychiatric literature, to allow for statistical analysis.
Two factors, multiple delusional objects (P < 0.0005) and serious antisocial behaviour unrelated to the delusions (P < 0.05), were found to be significantly associated with dangerousness. Using a combination of these two variables it was possible to predict dangerousness with an accuracy of 88.9% (weighted prediction accuracy or ‘hit rate’). We identified no false negatives but three false positives.
The presence of multiple objects, and a history of serious antisocial behaviour unrelated to the erotomanic delusions, are useful predictors of dangerous behaviour in men with erotomania.