Internet delusions

South Med J. 2003 Jan;96(1):61-3. doi: 10.1097/01.SMJ.0000047722.98207.32.


As the use of computers, the Internet, and Internet technology becomes more pervasive in society, psychopathological thought content characterized by the incorporation of the Internet into delusions and hallucinations will become increasingly common. In the following report, three cases of psychotic inpatients are briefly presented to exemplify this trend in pathoplasticity. Interestingly, patients with no real familiarity with the Internet may just as readily incorporate such computer-associated themes into delusional thought patterns. Clinicians should be familiar with the tendency for delusional thoughts to draw from ideas important to society in general. Several interesting points about these cases include the increasing prevalence of Internet delusions, the complete unfamiliarity of two of the patients with the Internet and computers in general, and the tendency for such delusions to be of the controlling, broadcasting, and persecutory types.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delusions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Middle Aged