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10 Weirdest Psychiatric Diseases You’ve Never Heard of

We must have heard about famous psychiatric diseases all over the world, like Anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive addiction etc.. But there are some other strange and weird illnesses that have funny symptoms. Overwhelmingly, life pressures and various social and familial problems may be the most prominent factors for mental disorders. Moreover, hair pulling, grass-eating, obsessive books collecting… may be some foreign actions for normal people, but usual actions for infected ones. Let’s have an idea about the weirdest psychiatric diseases OR strangest mental troubles you’ve never heard  of.

10. Cotard Delusion:

Cotard delusion is a rare disorder where the sufferer suspects that he’s dead, that he doesn’t exist, and that he’s moldy, without blood or internal organs. Further, the french neurologist Jules Cotard was the first who discovered this illness and called it “Delirium exile”, or “Delirium denial”. He used to treat a patient who believed that she’s cursed, she denied her organs and didn’t want to eat until she died.

Three different phases were discovered of this illness;

  • Evolution: patient are very depressed and solicitous.
  • Receptivity: Full development of the syndrome.
  • Chronic: Severe chronic depression and delusions.

However, people having this syndrome usually become isolated from others and ignore their cleanliness and their safety. Over a period, they join a very deformed image about the external world, so they can’t feel the reality. Anyway, the cure of this syndrome is  antipsychotics and mood stabilizers blending with electric shocks.

Cotard delusion was classified as of of the weirdest psychiatric diseases or strangest mental illness. More people infected with the disease are “old ones” and “women”. Many people infected with the disease commit suicide to get rid of their terrible delusion. Some people having this syndrome think that they’re dead youths.

9. Paris Syndrome

Have you ever dreamt of visiting Paris? Louvre? Eiffel tower? Be very careful because this visit can cause you an emotional trauma. Paris syndrome is one of the weirdest psychiatric diseases, it infects some of Japan’s population as it gives them an Emotional and mental trauma when they visit the famous capital Paris. Therefore, this phenomenon was detected by a Japanese psychiatrist “hiroaki ota” who used to work in Paris. The reason of this syndrome is the idea that Japanese people have about the perfection and the charm of Paris, but when they go there, they discover a world that is less than their expectations; like some chaotic streets, language barrier, meeting beggars etc. which cause them a weird reaction called Paris syndrome.

Moreover, professor “Craig Jackson” from Birmingham University explains: it’s not a psychological state well-recognized such as schizophrenia and depression, but it’s not more than a large group of self symptoms where the patients feel unusual and stop acting normally, so the symptoms of this syndrome are Behavioral, psychological and physical. Similarly, people suffering from cramps experiences or similar symptoms of panic attacks need to go to hospital and take anesthetic, while some others could be disoriented and go without permission. Additionally, some of them could develop the belief that they are in an aggressive situation and feel threatened.

8. Stendhal Syndrome:

Certainly, everybody loves art, when we see  sophisticated masterpieces we get fascinated, but have you ever met someone gets troubles with an artistic aesthetic upscale image?

Stendhal syndrome is characterized by Physical and emotional anxiety when the person is exposed to an influential dose of art, we can name this syndrome in the cases where the patient can’t endure the great beauty, like in nature. Likewise, this syndrome was named like the nickname of the famous French writer Mary Henry, after his description of this unique experience with this phenomenon in his visit to Florence in 1817 in his book:” Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio”. Even if psychologists doubt in its existence, they don’t deny the necessity of the treatment and the medical care of infected people.  However, it may be observed in the early nineteenth century, but it was named only in 1979, when it was described by the Italian psychiatrist “Graziella Magherini” who studied more than 100 people having this case in Florence.

There is no scientific evidence defines this syndrome as a psychological disturbance, but in the other side, there are proofs that brain’s areas which stimulate our emotional reactions, become energetic when the sufferer look at beautiful artistic work. In spite of the hundred documented cases in Florence, the American psychiatric association’s diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder “haven’t recorded any case. Currently an Italian team is following up this syndrome more systematically by measuring the tourist’s reactions (heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate…) when he visits artworks in the “Medici Richard Palace”, or any other masterpieces in Florence.

7. Diogenes Syndrome:

This syndrome took its name from the Greek philosopher “Diogenes” and it means that the person neglects severely himself, beside his extreme tendency to isolation, and the strong desire of possession. Older ones are more threatened by this syndrome, which is often accompanied with physical, neurological, or mental collapse. Therefore, the Greek philosopher Diogenes used to live in a wine barrel, and to invite to the philosophical doctrine: Nihilism. Moreover, Diogenes was known with his famous story with the great Alexander, when he was some day resting under the sun, Alexander met him and asked him if he needs any favor, so the philosopher answered: ”yes, I need you to get away, you’re covering the sunlight”, Despite the embarrassment, Alexander said:” If I wasn’t Alexander, it would be a pleasure  to be Diogenes”.

6. Autophagia:

Autophagy comes from the Greek word: “autos” means “oneself”, “phagein” means “eat”, this term refers to  mental disorders which push the person to eat or bite a part of his body. Indeed, every human being practise this autophagy, but in successive degrees; this behavior doesn’t exceed nail-biting. Otherwise, in the most serious cases of autophagy, the patient can’t stop bite or shew his own body.

The psychiatric “Jean-Paul Mialet”, former head of Saint Anne hospital, and education director Paris V university, explains why self harm is not a synonym of suicide, and the relation between physical pain and emotional pain:

I remember a patient who described her self mutilations by deep laceration, she told one of its episode where the generator context was a frightful argument with her father who made her mentally suffer from an appalling abandonment. In fact, the mental pain replaced the physical pain.

Currently, the autophagy syndrome factors are not identified yet; for some, this mental trouble could appear to compensate sensory loss, for others, this behaviour is related to impulsiveness, eating disorders, aggravated sexual anxiety, excessive stress, or even social isolation. The medical care of this syndrome allows the treatment of psychological causes and the different injuries to avoid infections, and correct negative thoughts which are originally autophagic behaviors. Besides, behavioral therapy is a psychological approach that contributes in replacing autophagic actions with adaptive behaviors. Antidepressants and antipsychotics are also prescribed when the behaviour is related to a psychiatric trouble such as obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

5. TrichotilloMania:

Trichotillomania, the word may sound funny, but it notifies a very painful and misunderstood disorder. It’s a repetitive behavior that involves hair pulling, sometimes until epilating whole areas which lead  to hair loss (alopecia) on a defined area of the scalp, also on other hairy areas like eyelashes and eyebrows, besides some symptoms like:

  • relief feeling after the pulling.
  • the trouble is not caused by dermatological affections . (like:areata)
  • perception of increasing tension before pulling up and in case of resistance to the grubbing behavior.
  • social or professional difficulties expressed by the patient.

Moreover, for adults: Trichotillomania “focused on gesture”, totally conscious and the need is irresistible, the behavior is followed by appeasement or guilt. Trichotillomania “automatic”, hair pulling is realised without consciousness in various common situations ( work, hobbies..), It’s not preceded by voltage phase and does not offerfurther relief.

For children, it affects more often boys, and manifests in periods of stress. The disorder is usually transient and disappear spontaneously.

Trichotillomania’s causes are not clearly established. However some genetic factors could play a very important rule in the disorder’s development. Consequently, to treat this trouble, the patient should learn how to live with his trichotillomania, behavioral psychotherapy could be good as well, in some cases the patient needs psychotropic drugs.

4. Androphobia:

image source; deviantart.net

One of the weirdest psychiatric diseases that affects predominately women. It’s the fear of men, someone suffers from it can’t face situations where men exist. Therefore, each patient having this phobia is different because the causes differ, but there are common symptoms when the sufferer is exposed to this fear; like

  • anxiety attack,
  • dry mouth,
  • excessive sweating,
  • breathlessness and many more…

Moreover, this phobia may be due to a traumatic experience in childhood, or a fascination of a crime. However, this phobia could be caused by other sources. Likewise, this illness treatment is like any phobia’s treatment, first, the patient should be at ease with what the counselor is doing, though, psychiatrists are still doing their best to find treatment for each specific case. Additionally, neuro-linguistic programming treatment has shown good and effective results, it structures and reprograms the behavior, this NLP helps the patients manage their phobia when facing a situation where men are present. Hypnotherapy has proved also its success, the therapist put his patient in trance-like state, so he can reach the logical part of the brain and order it to reprogram while the patient is relaxing.

3. Bibliomania:

Since you’re reading this list, you must be a book lover, and passionate about learning more but, have you ever heard about bibliomania? Etymologically, “biblio” refers to books, “mania” means insanity. Literally, it’s books madness, or the fury to have books and to collect them. Further, this mental obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by the desire of books possession. Bibliomaniacs are so obsessed with compulsive buying or obsessive collecting for a large number of books that will not be necessary read. Also, bibliomaniac behavior could be resulted from a neurotic defense mechanism related to a trauma, an abuse or an oedipal conflict. Faced to a psychic conflict, the bibliomaniac buys and accumulates books in order to mitigate or reduce anxiety that comes over him.

The symptoms of this illness are:-

  • The accumulation of an abnormal books quantity.
  • Irresistible desire to acquire and posses books.
  • A sense of relief generated by the collection of books.
  • The difficulty in getting rid of books regardless of their value.

The therapeutic strategies used to treat this bibliomania are mainly pharmacological and psycho-therapeutic, like Drug treatment that allows to mitigate manifestations of this disorder but don’t heal the patient. Or the psycho-therapeutic intervention through cognitive behavioral therapy which can treat cognition, thoughts and behavior.

2. Boanthropy:


A very weird serious disorder, the infected person thinks himself a cow or a bull and act like them. This disorder starts as a dream until it becomes with time the patient’s reality so he eats grass or make sounds like cows. It’s believed that  such a case could be stimulated by hypnosis.

The most famous case of boanthropy occurred to King Nebuchadnezzar, who in the book of Daniel, was said to have turned into a cow, Went out to the pasture eating grass! However, the sufferer begins by becoming vegetarian, then he starts mooing uncontrollably, soon after he acquires a taste for grass. This type of disorder could cause hallucinations, or cause someone to believe that he’s other than human. Moreover, this disease affects the body as it affects the brain, the patient could get sick from the cow place because his body is not set up to digest grass, the cow has many stomachs and it’s able to regurgitate their food and keeping chewing. There is no treatment for this disease, if the person thinks that he has the starting symptoms he should go to a therapist.

1. Erotomania:

Described for the first time in the early twentieth century, Erotomania is considered the delusional illusion of being loved. A look, a word, a gesture coming from the other… and it’s revelation. They say that this disorder is chronic because it’s sustainable over time. This disease still exists and continues to invade the life of those who suffer even if it’s rarely observed nowadays. In some cases, Erotomania could result from an other psychiatric disorder ( schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) or from a mental disease.

Typically, Erotomania takes place in three phases:-

Hope phase: once the love of the other becomes unfailing evidence, the patient began a devotion driven by a mad hope. No matter who the person is, the erotomaniac won’t hesitate to place a furious energy to be seen, Any sign could interprets it in his favour as an unfailing love.

Spite phase… then rancor: very quickly, disappointment bursts, and obsession turns to depression. Hope has let place for sadness and deep emptiness. The spite transforms quickly into rancor.

The trouble causes are not yet understood, it’s possible that neurobiological abnormalities, or genetic, could be responsible. This illness should not be confused with nymphomania which is related to a pathological exaggeration of sexual desires, while Erotomania is more attached to passionate love.

Finally, Ertomania is a rare sickness whose causes are poorly understood, it’s very long and difficult to treat. Therapists use essentially drug treatment, in some cases electroshock are used. Also, Neuroleptics or antipsychotics have significant effects.

Source: wonderslist

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