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13 Rare and Bizarre Psychological Syndromes/Disorders

13 Rare and Bizarre Psychological Syndromes/Disorders

The field of psychology is one that is still growing and developing. As we learn more about the brain and human behavior, there are a number of rare and bizarre psychological syndromes and disorders that we can encounter. How many of these have you heard of?

Here 13 Rare and Bizarre Psychological Syndromes/Disorders:

1. Alice In Wonderland Syndrome (a.k.a. Todd Syndrome)

The individual sees some objects as much smaller than they really are and others as much larger than they really are. especially when observing one’s one body; finds it very difficult to judge time and has many sensory distortions, including a highly altered sense of velocity.

2. Apotemnophilia & Body Integrity Identity Disorder

Also known as amputee identity disorder: a neurological disorder and paraphilia in which a person has the overwhelming desire to amputate healthy limbs or other parts of their body and feels sexually aroused by the image/fantasy of being an amputee.

3. Capgras Delusion/Syndrome

The individual has a reoccurring delusion that an acquaintance (usually a spouse or family member) has been replaced by an identical looking impostor or several doubles; most common in patients with schizophrenia, or brain injuries.

4. Clinical Lycanthropy

Individuals experience the delusion of transforming into an animal; begin to behave like the animal they believe they have turned into.

5. Cotard Delusion (a.k.a. Walking Corpse Syndrome)

The individual holds the belief that he or she is dead, does not exist, is putrefying (decomposing) or has lost some internal organs or blood.

6. Foreign Accent Syndrome

An individual begins to uncontrollably speak their native language as if they had a foreign accent. follows a head injury, trauma, or stroke affecting the Broca’s area (controls functions for speech production).

7. Fregoli Delusion

The opposite of the Capgras delusion: different people are a single person changing their appearance or is in disguise.

8. Fugue State

Experiencing reversible amnesia for one’s personal identity (memories, personality, belongings etc. 
of one’s individuality and life); lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few months, is associated with significant distress or impairment usually precipitated by strong emotional or physical stressors.

9. Lima Syndrome

Opposite of the Stockholm syndrome; hostage takers become more sympathetic to the plights and needs of the hostages.

10. Stendhal Syndrome

Psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, and hallucinations when an individual is exposed to particularly “beautiful” art or a large amount of it in a single place at one time.

11. Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome: the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor. Despite the danger and the harm inflicted on the victims by their captors, victims feel strong emotional ties and a positive relationship with their captors.

12. Trichotillomania (TTM)

Disorder that results in a strong urge to constantly pull one’s hair out (scalp, facial, eyelashes, etc.).

Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) is characterized by the persistent and excessive pulling of one’s own hair, leading to noticeable hair loss.
Hair pulling can occur in any area of the body where hair grows. The scalp is that the most typical area affected, followed by the eyelashes and eyebrows. The alopecia that results from hair pulling can range from small undetectable areas of hair thinning to finish alopecia.

Trichotillomania most typically presents in early adolescence, with the height prevalence between ages 4 and 17 years. The disorder has both physical and psychosocial implications.

13. Windigo Psychosis

A disorder involving an insatiable craving for human flesh, coupled with the simultaneous fear of becoming a cannibal.

In the early 20th century, the term “windigo” found its way into the Western medical vocabulary. it had been utilized by early psychiatrists to talk over with a mental condition within which patients felt possessed by cannibalistic desires. 

Oblate Missionary J. E. Saindon was the primary to use the term within the 1920s while working in an exceedingly Cree community within the western James Bay area. There he met a lady who claimed that she saw strangers who wanted to kill and devour her. Saindon named the woman’s mental condition as a “psychoneurosis” — a mental or behavioral disorder, characterized by depression and anxiety. Overtime, the condition came to be called the Windigo Psychosis. However, whether this can be a true affliction remains a highly disputed discussion among the medical profession.


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