Folie à Deux – Madness In The Fast Lane

A very rare psychiatric disorder is at the heart of this story – folie à deux, sometimes known as ‘shared psychotic disorder’.

I remember flicking on the TV one evening to find my colleagues from the Central Motorway Police Group in one of those ‘fly on the wall’ things.  I often used to pay passing attention to CMPG shows as my old inspector moved there and I always wondered whether I’d ever see him on TV!

I’d heard a rumour about a job where a couple of twins were found wandering down the central reservation of the M6.  After officers got them safely to the side of the carriageway and were trying to establish who they were and how they got there, etc., etc. they each ran into the carriageway and were wiped up by an HGV and a car driving at full speed.  You can hear the officer immediately radioing for ambulance and senior officers for “two suspected double fatals”.  Why wouldn’t you?!  Can you think of a someone who fought an HGV moving at 60mph and survived?  As if this story were not amazing enough – the women did survive and despite their injuries they then started FIGHTING THE POLICE.

Utterly staggering and all captured on camera … but the story then took another unbelievable twist that was not shown in the original programme and which became a BBC Documentary first aired in 2010.

Watch this (four-part) programme which totals about an hour – Professor Nigel EASTMAN is interviewed in the latter part of it and he explains how rare this is and how this condition can affect more than two people – folie à trois.  It is an utterly breath-taking documentary and shows our emergency services at their very best:

The Mental Health Cop blog

Badgewon the ConnectedCOPS ‘Top Cop’ Award for leveraging social media in policing.
won the Digital Media Award from the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind
– won a World of Mentalists #TWIMAward for the best in mental health blogs

ccawards2013 was highlighted by the Independent Commission on Policing & Mental Health
– was referenced in the UK Parliamentary debate on Policing & Mental Health
was commended by the Home Affairs Select Committee of the UK Parliament.

7 thoughts on “Folie à Deux – Madness In The Fast Lane

  1. 17 June 2012
    Dear Mentalhealhcop,
    I am interested from the psychological perspective of what “folie a deux” actually means. I checked out Google and there are various “folies” including “folie a trois” and “folie a famille”.
    Then when I checked your link, I found the YouTube and the comments below.
    I could not open the videos as I only have narrowband so cannot access them.
    What happened to these two people?
    Did they end up in hospital and get sectioned under the Mental Health Act? And did they face prosecution for endangering lives – not just their own – under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Section 44?
    Or did anyone else face prosecution at all and if so, for what?
    Thank you very much for your excellent blog.
    Have a very happy Father’s Day with your family.
    Best wishes

  2. have come across this only once very rare and hard to make any progress with especially in the community as one person tends to drag the other one back but fascinating to work with

Comments are closed.