Medicine: Imaginary Poverty

For most of the world's poor, poverty is real, and so omnipresent that they can think of nothing else. But there are also a few oddballs around who suffer from "imaginary poverty," Dr. Archibald Beatson observes in the British Medical Journal. Theirs is a true psychosis, says the Worthing (Sussex) physician, because it includes two delusions: 1) that they cannot afford necessities, when in fact they have plenty of money for luxuries, and 2) that "life on earth will continue indefinitely." so they must not touch their capital "for fear of compromising the security of this interminable future." This emotional disorder,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!