Thursday, April 12

14 Strange Mental Disorders

  I have put together a list of strange disorders. Although some of these strange disorders and syndromes may seem unbelievable, they are all real and serious conditions. Fortunately, most of these strange disorders are rather rare and not many people suffer from them.

1. Stockholm Syndrome - "Being kidnapped isn't that bad because the kidnappers are actually pretty darn sweet peeps."
It's a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors. Hostages who have Stockholm Syndrome often mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness and defend them after they are arrested.

The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 27% of kidnap victims show evidence of Stockholm Syndrome.
The syndrome is named after the robbery of Kreditbanken in Stockholm, in which bank employees were held hostages from August 23 to August 28, 1973. In this case, victims became emotionally attached to their captors, even defended them after they were freed from the bank.
There also is a syndrome called Lima Syndrome, in which abductors develop sympathy for their hostages. It's named after an abduction at the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru in 1996, where most of the hostages were set free within a few hours, due to sympathy.

2. Capgras delusion theory - "Somebody who looks exactly like my wife is claiming that she is my wife. But I know that she is lying."
It's a strange disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse or close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor.
The Capgras delusion is named after a Joseph Capgras, a French psychiatrist, who first described the disorder in 1929 in his paper co-authored by Reboul Lachaux on the case of a French woman who complained that corresponding "doubles" had taken the places of her husband and other people she knew.

3. The Fregoli Delusion or the delusion of doubles - "I don't believe that I have two friends, just one who sometimes likes to change his appearance to look like the other."
It's pretty much the opposite of the Capgras delusion. A rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise.
The condition is named after the Italian actor Leopoldo Fregoli who was renowned for his ability to make quick changes of appearance during his stage act.

4. Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome aka Todd's syndrome - "Oh wow, what a trip!"
It's a disorienting neurological condition that affects human perception. A temporary condition that is often associated with migraines, brain tumors and the use of psychoactive drugs.
A sufferer may feel that part of their body shape or size has been altered and perceive that other humans, animals and objects are smaller than in reality.

5. Celebriphilia - an intense desire to have a romantic relationship with a celebrity. Remember that just a little teenage crush on a celebrity doesn't make you a celebriphil. You can consider yourself a celebriphil If you are totally obsessed with the idea of having romantic relationship with a famouse person.

6. Alien hand syndrome aka Dr. Strangelove syndrome - when one of your hands starts to mind its own business.
It's a neurological disorder in which the afflicted person's hand appears to take on a mind of its own. Alien hand can perform complex acts such as undoing buttons and use tools on its own.
It may occur after brain surgery, strokes, infections and extreme case of epilepsy.

7. Hybristophilia - "OMG! That serial killer on death row is so darn fine!"
It's a paraphilia involving being sexually aroused or attracted to people who have committed an outrage or a gruesome crime. In pop culture, it's also known as Bonnie and Clyde syndrome.
For an example, Ian Huntley, the man charged with the Soham murders, gets bundles of fan mail every day.

8. Münchausen syndrome aka hospital addiction syndrome or hospital hopper syndrome.
It's a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness or psychological trauma to draw attention or sympathy to themselves.
The syndrome is named after Baron Münchhausen, a German nobleman, who purportedly told many fantastic and impossible stories about himself, which Rudolf Raspe later published as The Surprising Adventures of Baron Münchhausen.

9. Irregular repetitive speech syndrome aka foreign accent syndrome.
It's a very rare medical condition involving speech repetition that usually occurs as a side effect to severe brain injury. Those suffering from condition pronounce their native language with an accent that to listeners may be mistaken as foreign or dialectical.
There have been 60 recorded cases in between 1941 and 2009.

10. Koro aka genital retraction syndrome or shrinking penis.
It's a culture-specific syndrome from Southeast Asia in which the person has an overpowering belief that his penis or other genitalia is shrinking and will shortly disappear. For females, the belief focuses on nipples retracting or shrinking.
There have even been cases of koro occurring amongst many people at the same time. That is called penis panic.
11. The Cotard delusion aka Cotard's syndrome or walking corpse syndrome.
It is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which the sufferers hold a delusional belief that they are dead, do not exist, are putrefying or have lost their blood or internal organs. Sometimes it can even include delusion of immortality.
The syndrome is named after a French neurologist, Jules Cotard who first described the condition in 1880. Cotard described a patient who denied the existence of God, the Devil, several parts of her body, and her need to eat. She believed that she was eternally damned and could not die a natural death. She later died of starvation.

12. Depersonalization disorder - when life is like watching a demo clip of a video game, instead of playing it yourself.
It is a dissociative disorder in which the sufferer is affected by persistent or recurrent feelings of depersonalization and/or derealization. The sufferers feel like they are going through the motions of life but don't experience it and feel as if they are in a movie. They feel disconnected from their bodies and find relating oneself to reality and the environment very difficult.
Remember that occasional moments of depersonalization are totally normal.

 13. Reduplicative paramnesia - "They have moved me into another house, although they made it look just like mine, I know it's just a duplicate"
It is a rare delusional belief that a place or location has been duplicated, existing in two or more places in the same time, or has been relocated to another site.
It is associated with brain injuries.

14. Pica - "Oh wow, that rock looks delicious!"
It's an strange eating disorder where a sufferer will consume things that are not considered nutritive nor edible. They may consume rocks, hair, dirt, buttons and so on. Pica can lead to surgical emergencies and intoxication.
Pica can be from a cultural tradition, acquired taste or a neurological mechanism such as an iron deficiency, or chemical imbalance. Pica has also been linked to mental disability.
Pica is named after the Latin word for magpie, a bird, that is known to eat almost anything.


Vague Raconteur said...

I loved this read. The Cotard delusion seems the most interesting to me - I wonder how many people have it these days?

Etaron said...

Wow, didn't know about most of this! Nice post, thank's for sharing :)

qdb said...

While reading the article I realized I suffer from at least 3 disorders and might have contracted a 4th :)

Automobile Accident Attorney said...

I have heard of the 1st one before where the kidnapped doesn't want to leave the kidnapper. It's quite an odd predicament.

Live Streaming Software said...

Very interesting, particularly the depersonalization disorder and reduplicative amnesia. Thanks for the post :)

One said...

Interesting list! I knew about the Capgras delusion (and how incredibly dangerous it can be - the supposed impostors tend to get killed), but I had never heard of the Fregoli delusion. That's weird!

John Ernest said...

This is very interesting but I feel a bit scared while reading this. I feel like it would really suck if you have one of these disorders and it can impair your social, professional, and personal life.

The Stationery Suite said...

Wow. Great list and great blog. I've heard of a few of these. Always appreciate learning something new. Great read.

Charles Godfrey said...

It would suck to have reduplicative paramnesia and Capgras delusion at the same time, then you would be living in a copy of your house with a copy of your wife...

James said...

I really learn alot about the stange mental disorders, thank for such inormative post. keep up the good work.

Manabadi said...

Felt so interested in reading the above article and your recent article 7 Great and Free Online Psychology Tests and i too have presented same type of article on Online Degree Completion Programs

Anonymous said...

These are incredible.. feelings of depersonalization.. to be living a movie; this is interesting stuff :)

Jeff said...

This is great, never knew most of my problems had names!

Anonymous said...

These are all kind of shocking.. until you read about the possible causes for this behavior. Still though, a fascinating glimpse into the mind of people!

Garrett Scott said...

You know, I've got to say, as disturbing as some of these images are, especially the one for Capgras Delusion Theory, this is a fascinating article and a lot of the delusions that people have... well, it might sound bad to put it this way, but they make fantastic ideas to use for a story, so I'm definitely going to bookmark this to come back to!

Jay said...

I'm sure these have all been on House M.D...

Anonymous said...

Hahaha I know that at least depersonalization, alien hand syndrome and munchausen hav been used on house. Depersonalization was interesting, it was on the one where people who had donated organs from the same deceased person all got sick and the woman who was blind and received eyes or something related to being able to see was depressed because nothing looked nice, everything seemed stagnant until house found out and did the hero thing

Raven said...

It's interesting now knowing that there is a real disorder associated with my anxiety problem: Depersonalization disorder. I can go into what I call 'panic attick mode' for days, thinking that my life was a dream, or oddly enough- everyone and everything is imaginary, I am a scientific study, a brain in a tank hooked up to machine being studied and I am in a constant dream.
This all began after my first time smoking pot in high school.
About a week after I went to a doctor and was prescribed zoloft for anxiety. Didn't help the thoughts of being imaginary, but helped the, scaryness of it I suppose, eased my quickened heartrate.
I no longer suffer from this, I found focusing on something like reading or counting things helped/ (I wore a beaded bracelet for years to count when i started trippin' out)
This 'disorder' is not cool. It's frightening.