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Rare mental health disorders

19 Dec 2016

Mental health awareness in our country has been on a pathetic low since a very long time. However, with the current wind of change in the situation and people talking about the importance of mental health and various mental disorders, there is definitely a silver lining. There are being discussions held on relatively common ailments like depression, social anxiety, insomnia and there is some level of know-how about mental diseases like schizophrenia dementia, bipolar disorder, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and ADD (attention deficit disorder).

However, looking at the bigger picture of mental health awareness, there are numerous psychological and mental disorders that we have not even heard of. Here is a list of some the rare but interesting and weird disorders of the human mind.

1.      Foreign Accent Syndrome

It is a rare condition where the person who is suffering from this disorder starts speaking their native language with a foreign accent. They might have never been to the place where the accent belongs to or might not have even met someone with the same accent.

This medical condition generally occurs due to a head injury, trauma, a stroke or a minor migraine attack. It can last a few hours or be permanent.

2.      Capgras Syndrome

The person suffering from this has a delusional belief that an acquaintance, usually a spouse or other close family member, or even their pet has been replaced by an identical looking impostor. The condition is distressing both for the patient as well as for the close relatives seen as imposters by their loved one.

3.      Alien Hand Syndrome

A belief that one's hand has a life of its own and is not just a body part is Alien Hand Syndrome. The person believes that her/his hand does not belong to oneself and appears to move involuntarily without their cognitive control.

The alien limb is personified and the patient might think that it is possessed. It is usually caused by stroke or other brain damage.

4.      Alice in Wonderland Syndrome or Todd Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a condition in which the sufferer perceives objects and people either smaller or larger than they actually are, just like in the book except for the fact  that here it is merely an illusion.

The patient's sense of body image, space, and/or time is distorted. It is interesting to note that this condition is not the result of any defect in the eye, but is a case of wrong perception and interpretation by the brain.

5.      Erotomania

A belief that a person of a higher social status, generally a celebrity, is in love with you and is giving you signals- this is the condition of an erotomania patient. The supposed love is returned by the patient in their own ways. They believe that the celebrity is madly in love with them and do not get convinced even if they deny any affection directly.

6.      Synesthesia

A stimulation of one sense causes a reaction in the other senses; or the senses become inter linked. It can result in an ability to see music, taste shapes, smell words or feel colours and so on. It is not considered an ailment since it has no negative effects.

7.      Stendhal Syndrome

Exposure to art results in physical and emotional anxiety and may lead to a panic attack is Stendhal Syndrome. Large quantities of art in a place or art that is known to be extremely beautiful can act as a trigger. The condition may also occur in the person when s/he is exposed to something very beautiful in nature.

8.      Apotemnophilia and Acrotomophilia

This mental condition is characterized by the devastating desire to amputate healthy parts of their own body. It is also known as body integrity identity disorder or amputee identity disorder.

The patient either tries to amputate their own limbs or asks others to do it or even damages them irrevocably so that the doctors have to amputate them. It has been observed that they are happy after the amputation and don’t regret it.

9.      Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm syndrome occurs when a victim shows sympathy, loyalty and submission to their victimizer. It is often associated with cases of kidnapping and abduction but also stands true in connection to rape, and spousal and child abuse.

The name is derived from a bank robbery in Stockholm where the hostages refused to testify against their captors as they got emotionally attached to them. Lima syndrome is the vice-versa of Stockholm syndrome.

10.  Cotard Syndrome or Walking Corpse Syndrome

The sufferer believes that s/he is dead or has lost all her/his blood and internal organs. They may also tend to have delusions of immortality. It is considered to be common among patients of Schizophrenia and those have suffered psychotic depression or head trauma.



Tags: Rarest disorders