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Grand Passions

Daniel Freeman continues his exploration of delusions. He hears a historic case of erotomania and meets a woman who believed she had to save the world from the millennium bug.

Psychologist and therapist Professor Daniel Freeman explores the history of delusions - strongly held, preoccupying false beliefs – with cases from the archives and first-hand testimonies from people who have experienced delusional thinking. Conversations usually confined to the clinic room.

In recent years, delusions have started to emerge as a field of study in their own right, and Daniel has been at the forefront of new research and treatment for the past 20 years. His aim is to make delusions more understandable and explicable.

In this programme Daniel hears how in 1921, Gaetan Gatien De Clerambault, a French psychiatrist, published a landmark paper detailing the delusion that became commonly known as ‘erotomania’. The case study featured ‘Lea Anne B’ a 53-year-old milliner who became convinced that the English King George V was in love with her.

And a contemporary contributor shares her experience of the belief that she had to save the world from the Millennium Bug.

Produced by Victoria Shepherd and Eve Streeter
A Greenpoint production for BBC Radio 4

Available now

14 minutes

Broadcast

These things shall pass: delusions and how to survive them

These things shall pass: delusions and how to survive them

Exploring one of the most feared and misunderstood mental health problems – delusions.

Podcast