Among the various medical disorders that affect the human body, some are physical ailments while some are mental disorders. Mental health conditions and their effects on overall health, have always intrigued medical experts. With time, doctors have been able to observe and understand the causes and consequences of many psychological disorders, but quite a few still remain to be understood. They are those which have retained their reputation of being the unrevealed in medical science. These mental disorders' complex nature and unexplained characteristic features have earned them attributions like strange and bizarre; some of which are common, while some, extremely rare.
List of Weird Mental Disorders
Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS)
Also known as Micropsia, or Todd's syndrome, people diagnosed with this psychological problem, are known to have an abnormal perception to the size of their own body parts, and that of external objects. In other words, patients may develop a feeling that their body parts have changed their shape and size, and that other external objects have become tinier than they actually are. Affected people may also perceive the ground to be too close to them or a lane too long!
Another name in the list of the weird mental disorders is 'Bibliomani'. It belongs to the group of obsessive-compulsive disorders. It causes people to get indulged into book collection to such an extent that, they tend to develop a sheer negligence and avoidance towards other important aspects of their life, especially relationships with friends and family. Also known as 'book-madness', this problem is actually an uncontrollable urge to build a huge collection of books; and sometimes multiple copies and editions of the same book.
Body Identity Integrity Disorder
One of the bizarre mental disorders is the body identity integrity disorder (BIID). This psychological condition is strange in the sense that it causes the affected person to have his/her body part(s) amputated. This disorder is such that it may actually drive the patient to get rid of one or more of his/her healthy limbs only to believe that living as an amputee would be so much happier.
Have you ever come across any of your friends or acquaintances who frequently expresses a strange belief that one or more of his family members (or friends, spouse, etc.) has or have been replaced by a look-alike imposter? If so, then you may suspect the person to be suffering from another rare mental disorder called Capgras delusion. Doctors suggest that, this medical issue commonly plagues people with schizophrenia, and that, women are more susceptible to it.
Exploding Head Syndrome
The meaning of this mental disorder is somewhat close to its literal meaning. A person suffering from this disorder experiences a loud noise, mostly during his/her sleeping hours. The noise can be felt originating from somewhere within the head. The noise, more often than not, is indecipherable. However, in some cases, it can be identified as a sound of an explosion, cymbals clashing, and screaming.
Foreign Accent Syndrome
If you have a friend who has never been abroad, but suddenly comes up speaking in an accent which is uncharacteristic of his/her origin, then your friend may be dealing with what is known as the foreign accent syndrome (FAS). It is usually the result of a stroke or severe trauma to the head. So a person who has been raised in the UK, can actually start speaking in the Russian accent so fluently that other people may be convinced that English is not his/her native language. Strange that is.
Genital Retraction Syndrome
As the name suggests, this mental disorder is characterized by the affected person forming a belief that the size of his/her genitals is decreasing or retracting into the body to such an extent that they may disappear. A male patient may have the fear of his penis getting retracted into his body, and for a female, her breast, to a point of complete disappearance. People belonging to the African and Asian continent are the ones who are mostly affected by this disorder.
A person diagnosed with this mental disorder tends to develop a strong attraction (usually sexual attraction) to people who have committed hideous crimes. He feels the urge to indulge in sexual activity with criminals.
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine
The name is as strange as the disorder itself is. It causes the sufferer to react in an exaggerated manner to the occurrence of sudden happenings such as a startling noise or sight. When encountered by such a situation, the patient can be observed crying out loud, flailing his/her arms, and starting an uncontrollable repetition of words. During an attack, the patient will literally do anything on sudden command.
If a person has taken some people as hostage, then what can you expect of him under normal circumstances? Well, you know what! But Lima syndrome is another mental disorder where the abductor somehow develops a sympathetic attitude towards the hostages and might behave with his hostages with great concern and care. Now isn't this weird?
Everyone craves for attention, and there are many ways to get it; some ways could be creative, while some, strange and bizarre. The Munchausen syndrome pushes a person to fake an illness or incur self-inflict injuries to gain attention, comfort and care from medical personnel. A person suffering from this mental disorder can also undergo risky tests and operations, with the only motive of gaining sympathy from people.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
This problem is mostly seen in infants and young children. This chronic mental disorder keeps the sufferer from establishing a loving and healthy relationship or bond with his/her parents, and with time, with other people. Such children are often abused, and neglected due to their behavior. And this ultimately affects their growing brain and abilities to socialize with people.
Ever felt that the place where you work also exists in a place different from where it actually is? This is the classic characteristic of what is known as the reduplicative paramnesia. Affected people believe that a location exists in two or more different places at the same time.
A beautiful work of art is something that is appreciated and adored by many. But for some, it spells trouble. A person is said to be suffering from Stendhal syndrome, when he/she exhibits abnormal symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, hallucinations, amnesia, breathing difficulty, fainting, etc., when exposed to beautiful art, artistic or historical artifacts within a short span of time.
The Stockholm Syndrome is just the opposite of what you have seen earlier in this article - Lima syndrome. In this case, the hostages become sympathetic and kind to the abductors. In some cases, the condition can be such that, the hostages may readily comply with the abductors and volunteer in what they intend to do. Strange...!
Among all, this disorder to be the most intriguing. Let me explain what it is with the help of an example. If a person gets the feeling of seeing color 'Red' on looking at the letter 'A', or if he feels he has heard a sound when he has actually seen an object, what will you call this? Well, this is a bizarre mental disorder referred to as synesthesia. It results from the crossing of the neural wires and leads to mixed sensations.
Individuals suffering from this mental disorder develop a strong urge of pulling hair from the scalp, eyebrows and other areas of the body. Girls tend to be more susceptible to this condition. Trichotillomania, often worsens with anxiety or depression.
Walking Corpse Syndrome
It is okay to have the feeling of living the life of a dead when depressed. But under normal conditions, one can overcome the feeling and get back to routine life. Unfortunately, there are some people who have this feeling developed so strong in their minds that they are convinced that they are dead, or have become non-existent in the world. In some cases, such people even go to the extent of believing that they have lost their soul, or are putrefying. Such people are said to be suffering from the walking corpse syndrome.
Medical experts are trying to understand the reasons behind these strange mental disorders and working towards finding effective treatments for them. Although, many findings about them have come to light, experts have more grounds to cover.