Week 9 Paranoid Jealousy
We focus now on one aspect of paranoid personality disorder. For Week 9 in Ward No. 6 we examined paranoid schizophrenia which is quite different. Schizophrenics suffer from a lack of emotional dynamics (called a flattened affect), disorganized thinking and language, delusions, and hallucinations. Individuals suffering from paranoid personality disorder have extreme suspiciousness and mistrust of others, but otherwise they are somewhat healthy individuals.

The fascinating aspect of this week's selection is a glimpse into how the mind turns facts around to support its suspeciousness. We all sometimes ruminate and worry about certain things, but when confronted with the facts, our fears usually evaporate. In this week's story, the facts become twisted and obscured into supporting the main character's paranoid jealousy. This is done by the mind and not through hallucination. It also provokes quite a jealous reaction.

Our story deals with a married man who is suffering from the jealous conviction that his wife is involved in an adulterous affair. The following are symptoms for someone to be diagnosed with paranoid jealousy:
  • more common in men than in women
  • a near total occupation with the fidelity of one's spouse or partner
  • fantasies of situations in which infidelity occurs
  • exaggeration of evidence that could support a complaint of infidelity
  • denial of factual information indicating no infidelity exists

There is no case study on paranoid jealousy.

Next, we get to our reading passage. Montuvio is an insurance agent who believes his wife, Alicia, is having an affair with Bordiguera.

    1. What was Montuvio acutally thinking of as he "pretended to be studying the long list of dishes" at the restaurant?
    2. What did Montuvio consider the "base, shameful action" he felt compelled to do?
    3. How did Montuvio feel he would react if Alicia came out of Bordiguera's house? How did the affect his ability to wait until someone came out of the house?
    4. What was going on in Montuvio's mind at half past five when he both wanted to leave and wanted to stay outside Bordiguera's house?
    5. Who did Montuvio see come out of the house with Bordiguera? What did he feel compelled to do that night when he saw his wife?
    6. When Montuvio was sitting again in the restaurant, what one thing about his observations did he find odd? Explain what was going on in his mind as he considered this.
    7. Why did Montuvio believe he couldn't remember the face of the woman leaving with Bordiguera?
    8. What did he conclude about the woman's hair? Her white dress?
    9. Why was Montuvio left sitting there with "his lower lip haning idiotically, terrified, paralyzed, as though struck by lightning?
    10. Explain to what extent Montuvio meets the criteria of paranoid jealousy.

When you've finished paste your work into an e-mail titled "Week 9 Homework." Then e-mail your work to me at aeaptl@gmail.com.

Week 9 homework is to be completed by 3:00 pm
Monday, April 27
for full credit. It will accepted after that date for half credit.

When e-mailing your work, be sure to paste your work INTO your e-mail.
Do NOT include your work as an attachment.

Copyright ©2009 Clay Sisman