A man who has suffered from paranoia for more than 50 years, has told friends how his condition has deteriorated recently so that he cannot bear to watch rugby, either live, or on the television.
Gerald Fitzpatrick, 63, from East London, has been affected by all three types of paranoia that first showed signs whilst he was still at school. First, he was diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder, then delusional disorder, and finally, paranoid schizophrenia.
Anxiety, and fear, accompanied by thoughts of being persecuted, or of perceived conspiracies of threats directed towards himself were the consequences of these struggles through paranoia. He made false - and random - accusations against various people who he imagined were "out to get him". Nothing was an accident; everything was a 'sure sign' that he was in mortal danger.
Having managed his condition as well as he had been able, with the support of his doctors, he became a semi-recluse last year, and had only infrequent visitors to his home.
Last Sunday, however, one of Gerald's friends, Josef Garrett, came to his house to watch the Rugby Union World Cup final between England and South Africa. Everything went reasonably well, until midway through the second half. Garrett takes up the story:
"There was a scrum near the England line. The players came together, and Gerald looked nervous. He touched my arm, and said "they're talking about me!" I had been planning to ask him to go to watch one of those American football games at Wembley, but I don't think I'll bother."