Phantom Pregnancy: A Psychotic Symptom Of Mental Illness Convincing Self Of Being Pregnant?

By Grace Jones, Parent Herald January 03, 04:10 am
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The causes of Phantom pregnancy or the state of successfully convincing self that she is pregnant are connected to mental illness.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The delusion of pregnancy is not Phantom pregnancy, which is a psychotic symptom in mentally unstable women. Despite not having any physical evidence, the belief continues. The hypothalamus is involved in the neuroendocrine processes that allow for the condition to exist.

The working reproductive organs can be disrupted by hormonal alteration that can suppress the menstrual cycle. Prolactin and luteinizing hormone can be raised, and the pulsatile secretion method becomes exaggerated as a result. Being distressed from losing a highly expected pregnancy is a trigger for Phantom pregnancy. 

Women who are prone to the condition are those who cannot conceive despite resorting to various fertility methods for a prolonged period. Their non-psychotic counterparts can experience galactorrhea, which is pregnancy illusion. This is common among jilted loves and women who had a miscarriage, as well as drug users with increased prolactin levels, as per News Medical Life Science.

Socioeconomic status also plays a role in developing Phantom pregnancy. Being powerless and insecure in a relationship after a deep sense of loss made such women fragile to it. The connection between the reproductive system and the mind is the root of the condition, initiated by hormonal aberrations. Desperately wanting to be pregnant, fear of it, infertility, repeated abortions and relationship failures contribute to the situation.

Nausea, abdominal enlargement or pelvic contractions can be experienced not because of pregnancy but due to the underlying disease or medication side effects. Perimenopausal symptoms, Galactorrhea, Bronchogenic Carcinoma are some conditions that cause pregnancy-like symptoms. Bloating is often caused by oral contraceptives

False pregnancy, which is also called pseudocyesis, can also be experienced by men. The related phenomenon is known as couvade or sympathetic pregnancy. The symptoms are likely the same as their pregnant partners, including weight gain, nausea and some backaches that feel like pelvic pressures, according to WebMD.

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