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What happens when irresistible impulses and delusional thoughts take over people's minds? This documentary series investigates the manic behaviour caused by three psychological disorders.

About the Show

What happens when irresistible impulses and delusional thoughts take over people's minds? This documentary series investigates the manic behaviour caused by three psychological disorders.

Series 1 Summary

Sarah Myers takes an in-depth look at three of the most common manias: egomania, where self-obsession spirals out of all control; pyromania, where the starting of fires becomes a sensual act of almost sexual significance; and erotomania, the stalker's certainty that the object of their obsession loves them, even though they may have never met.

  • Egomania

    Episode 1 - Egomania

    From the overbearing boss to the ego that spirals dangerously out of control, Egomania journeys deep into the mind of an egomaniac.

    There are nine traits associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD): only those individuals suffering with five or more are diagnosed as having NPD.

    This programme meets sufferers displaying varying numbers of these traits, and examines different levels of the condition: from the high achiever to the lonely existence of the cold-hearted narcissist; through egomaniacal bosses right up to cult leaders; and finally to a narcissistic psychopath with all nine traits who brutally murdered his own parents.

    The programme also features a frank, revealing interview with an individual suffering from all nine traits of NPD.

  • Pyromania

    Episode 2 - Pyromania

    From an innocent curiosity about fire shared by many children, through an interest in flame that is more sensual in nature, to a psychopathic fixation with setting destructive fires, this documentary examines the many forms of pyromania: the obsessive desire to set fire to things.

    Estimates put the number of pyromania sufferers in the world at four million.

    The programme also investigates the case of a serial arsonist who was working as a respected fire investigator while he was set an estimated 10,000 fires. Astonishingly, at the same time he was writing a manuscript about an arsonist and a fire investigator, which provides a unique insight into the arsonist's mind.

    Pyromania climaxes with a fascinating interview with a severely disturbed fire setter, who has been sentenced to serve three life terms after repeatedly responding to the voice in his head that told him to light fires.

  • Erotomania

    Episode 3 - Erotomania

    Erotomania is the extraordinary condition where the fantasy of being in love can drive people to frightening, often violent and sometimes deadly extremes.

    The documentary meets a 'love obsessive', trying to fight his unrequited love for a woman he hasn't seen for 15 years; recovered erotomaniacs who thought the objects of their affections also loved them; a psychiatrist who had to move over 500 miles to get away from the former patient who was bombarding her with disturbing letters; and the individuals whose job it is to protect celebrities from erotomaniacs in Hollywood, the one place in the world where erotomania is practically rife.

    The programme also examines the case of the schizophrenic erotomaniac who stalked chat show host David Letterman for over eight years, in spite of repeated imprisonment; and the murderous erotomaniac whose obsession with a woman he hardly knew drove him to kill.

Mania synopsis

What happens when irresistible impulses and delusional thoughts take over people's minds? This documentary series investigates the manic behaviour caused by three psychological disorders.

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