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By Of Biostatistics and Christian Medical College


The emergence of delusions of pregnancy and its variants in various neuropsychiatric disorders is a fascinating phenomenon. It affects both genders and psychosociocultural factors predominantly determine its expression. Furthermore, its occurrence in biological disorders such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, senile dementia, mental retardation and epileptic psychosis does not confer that it can not be explained by nonbiological factors. We have reviewed the relevant literature on delusional pregnancy complemented by seven such cases reported in detail elsewhere (Qureshi et al.). These patients were having chronic schizophrenic (n=5) and mood disorder (n=2) psychopathologies. We have mainly focussed on the etiological explanations of delusional pregnancy and sociocultural functions subserved by this symptom. In consonance with this, here we would just like to highlight the following pertinent issues of delusions of pregnancy, 1) cognitive misinterpretation of bodily sensations and physical changes, 2) severe ego pathology, primitive nature of patient's psychology and poor reality testing, 3) wish-fulfillment, 4) separationindividuation concept, 5) an attempt to recapture the lost love object such as husband or child, 6) emotional attachment, i.e. a strong emotional bond between mother and daughter, 7) sustainment and perpetuation of cultural beliefs, 8) unconscious attempt to change the life situations of women in conservative societies, 9) a release of suppressed cultural attitudes and fears and finally 10) an amplification of cultural themes. The author concluded that delusional pregnancy appears to be a web of sociocultural themes

Year: 2013
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