5 weirdest (and scariest) mental disorders

We publish a list of five of the most unusual mental disorders that prove that strange things happen to people not only in films, and the fantasies of writers and directors are often inspired by real stories.      

Our brain is a huge universe, which scientists will study for more than one decade. But its power is undeniable. Take, for example, how the nervous system distorts the perception of the world and forces a person to act during mental disorders.      

We decided to briefly talk about five of the strangest, most interesting, and slightly frightening disorders.   

Cotard syndrome

One of the striking characteristics of this syndrome is delirium of greatness turned inside out: a person believes that he or individual parts and organs of his body have already died, rotted, decomposed, or are simply missing.    

A person with Cotard’s syndrome is often sure that he is causing catastrophic harm to humanity: that he has infected everyone with a terrible infection, poisoned or completely wiped out humanity from the face of the earth, that because of his putrid breath the planet will soon die out.   

Reminds some of the characters in Pirates of the Caribbean, does n’t it?  

Munchausen syndrome

Named after a famous liar, this syndrome is characterized by pathological lies about one’s health. The person exaggerates, feigns, or deliberately produces symptoms of the disease.   

A person goes to great lengths to achieve medical procedures of varying complexity, up to surgical interventions, insurance payments, support from funds and – most importantly – support, sympathy, attention and help from others. A related disorder , Munchausen syndrome “by proxy” , is that a relative (usually a mother or spouse) causes a loved one (more often a child) to experience symptoms of the disease.            

An example of the whole scale and all the tragedy of this disorder is last year’s story of Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter Gypsy: her mother inspired the child all her life that she was seriously ill with a whole “bunch” of serious diseases – from epilepsy to muscular dystrophy. The grown-up daughter could not stand it and persuaded the young man to kill his mother. She is now under investigation – and in it no one symptom or one of the diseases that she was “sick”.                

Ganser syndrome

This syndrome resembles Munchausen’s syndrome, since a person’s internal anxiety is transformed into demonstrative, defiant, inappropriate behavior that is directed at others. Its other name is hysterical psychosis. It was first described by the German psychiatrist Ganser in a man who was under investigation. Upset is still more common now when a person’s social status is threatened by something – for example, a trial. But it can be mobilization into the active army, or even a sudden break in relations.          

With this syndrome, a person behaves like a child – he sits on the floor, “plays” with surrounding objects. On simple questions are answered incorrectly (for example, confusing left and right), not can dress, forgets how to eat. What is strange is that a person understands the speech addressed to him, but he says or does everything as if “by”.       

Sometimes it comes to “wildness” – a person gets on all fours, laps water from a bowl, barks, howls and tries to bite people around.     

After an attack, a person does not remember what happened to him. This syndrome is incredibly rare. He is hardly mentioned either in films or in feature films. On the other hand, maybe we just have a poor idea of ​​what happens to a person who faces a prison sentence.            

Fregoli syndrome

This syndrome is named after the actor Leopold Fregoli, who was able to masterly change his appearance. A person with this unusual mental disorder is convinced that his acquaintance (more often a persecutor, enemy, ill-wisher) is hiding in other people – he just wants to remain unrecognized. Therefore, he constantly changes his appearance, makes up.    

This syndrome is a kind of Capgras syndrome, in which the opposite is true – a person is sure that his loved one, for example, a wife or child, has been replaced by a double who skillfully faked his appearance and manners. This syndrome was well reflected in the (scary) movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.     

Multiple personality

Dissociative personality disorder, which is commonly known as multiple personality disorder. The syndrome, which many consider the “holy grail” of psychiatry: everyone has heard about it, it is an official diagnosis in the classifiers of diseases, but few have seen it.  

Presumably due to severe mental trauma in childhood, a person seems to be internally split into several personalities. More often than two (maybe thirty), they are of different sex, age, with different facial expressions, habits, each often has its own handwriting and even different physiological indicators.      

These subpersonalities do not know about each other, or only know about some. By “switching” between personalities, a person forgets what just happened to his alter ego. In this case, “switching” between different characters can cause different external events.    

All the mystery of this syndrome is revealed in films and books – “Three Faces of Eve”, “Sybil”, “Multiple Minds of Billy Milligan”, “Split”.   

In schizophrenia, to which scientists also use the term “splitting”, a person coexists simultaneously with his voices and visions and does not suffer from memory lapses . Splitting, splitting occurs with his thinking and emotions – the patient can not think purposefully and becomes completely callous, cold, like a mechanism.            

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