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Shared Psychosis Might Have Led To Burari Deaths: Know All About It

Shared psychosis is being speculated as the reason behind Burari deaths. It is a mental disorder in which a person develops delusions when s/he are involved in a close relationship with another person who is already suffering from a mental disorder and experiences delusions.

Shared Psychosis Might Have Led To Burari Deaths: Know All About It

Shared psychosis is a mental condition in which the psychotic behavior of a person influences others


  1. Shared psychosis is being seen behind the Burari suicide case
  2. It is a mental disorder where a close group of people have delusions
  3. It aggravates when individuals are socially or physically isolated

On the morning of July 1, 2018 the national capital woke up to a diabolic incident where 11 people belonging to a family were found blindfolded, hung from an iron grill in their home in Burari under mysterious circumstances. The Burari death case is being seen as a mass suicide case; however, some are also considering it to be a homicide. Recently, the investigative team is also speculating an angle of shared psychosis. Shared psychotic disorder is a mental health disorder in which people around a delusional person begin to believe in him/her and get influenced by his/her emotional and mental state. Relatives and neighbours of the family claim that the family in question was religious and friendly, but members mostly kept to themselves. The police have retrieved many hand-written notes and journals. These notes suggest that the family may have been involved in occult practices since 2007 when the patriarch of the family died. Lalit Bhatia, his youngest son is believed to have been affected the most by his death. Local residents tell that he often saw his father in his dreams and even claimed to be possessed by his father's spirit. The detailed notes indicate towards the family seeking salvation. According to many psychologists, the information found in those journals indicates toward shared psychosis.

burari suicide

Burari deaths might be linked with shared psychosis
Photo Credit: NDTV

Also read: 
How Psychotherapy Can Treat Mental Health Problems Better Than Medication

What is shared psychosis?

Shared psychosis disorder is a mental disorder in which a person develops delusions when s/he is involved in a close relationship with another person who is already suffering from a mental disorder and delusions. Most people with a mental disorder have been found to hallucinate. Shared psychosis occurs when these hallucinations are also experienced by people around them because of their close connection. In case this disorder is shared by many people in a same family, it is referred to as "family madness". Family madness as a mental health condition is said to aggravate when individuals living together are socially or physically isolated.

mental health

Shared psychosis is a mental health condition which triggers delusions

Also read: The Impact Of Music Therapy On Mental Health

The delusional person in case of shared psychosis, is called the 'inducer', who tends to influence other people around him/her. It stems out from hostile and neglectful behavior, situations or maybe from a strong emotional trauma. Shared psychosis usually begins where a dominant person is able to create an impact by his/her actions and emotions on the acceptor or the secondary person. This happens when people are extremely close, related by blood or live in each other's vicinity. This all aids in spreading their delusional belief during a psychotic episode in which the dominant is able to impose on the secondary person.

For example, a child is more prone to having shared psychosis when one of the parents is a primary or dominant case. This disorder is very unique and difficult to identify as it is not related to any other mental disorder despite having branched out of one.

Causes of shared psychosis

Shared psychosis disorder may stem out from a variety of reasons. However, stress and isolation are the main reasons as to why it happens. Shared psychosis disorder always occurs in groups. The inducer is followed by other people. The situation is similar to that of a cult - in which the leader is going through a mental health disorder or psychotic behavior - which influences the followers or the people around him/her.

People suffering from shared psychosis disorder are unable to relate to daily life activities and various other factors. They tend to isolate themselves from their surroundings. The condition tends to get spiked because the affected people ignore to seek help or treatment for it.

mental health

Shared psychosis may occur due to stress and isolation
Photo Credit: iStock

Treatment of shared psychosis

Shared psychotic disorder is not easy to diagnose until and unless the affected people reach out for help. This disorder can be treated through psychotherapy, only when people who are suffering from this condition are asked to live separately. In extreme cases, the doctor might prescribe sedatives or medication


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Doctors might prescribe antidepressants and calming medicines in extreme cases of shared psychosis

Also read: Here's Why You Shouldn't Take Antidepressants During Pregnancy

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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