Monday, May 07, 2007


10 Most Interesting, Strangest Mental Disorders

Psychiatrics is one of the most difficult and unexplored spheres of medicine. A psychiatrist can never know for sure what is in his patient’s mind.

There are plenty of different diseases, deviations and disorders in psychiatrics. Here are the most interesting ones:

1. Alien hand syndrome (Dr. Strangelove syndrome)

Alien hand syndrome is a neurological disorder in which one of the sufferer's hands seems to take on a life of its own. Sometimes the sufferer will not be aware of what the hand is doing until it is brought to his or her attention. Alien hands can perform complex acts such as undoing buttons or removing clothing.

2. Foreign accent syndrome

The syndrome causes people to speak their native language as if they had a foreign accent; for example, an American native speaker might speak with a French-sounding accent. It usually follows a severe brain injury, such as a stroke.

3. Capgras' syndrome

The Capgras delusion or Capgras' syndrome is a rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that an acquaintance, usually a close family member or spouse, has been replaced by an identical looking imposter.

4. Fear of the number 13 (Triskaidekaphobia)

Adolf Hitler was triskaidekaphobic. A specific fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. Tetraphobia is the fear of the number 4 in China, Japan, and Korea.

5. Working out too much (Bigorexia)

Bigorexia or Muscle dysmorphia is a disorder in which an individual becomes obsessed that they are not muscular enough. Sometimes referred to as bigorexia or reverse anorexia nervosa, it is a very specific case of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

Muscle dysmorphia can cause individuals to: - Constantly check themselves in a mirror - Become distressed if a gym session is missed - Take potentially dangerous drugs (e.g. anabolic steroids) - Neglecting jobs/relationships/family due to exercising

6. Collecting too many books (Bibliomania)

Bibliomania is an obsessive-compulsive disorder involving the collecting of books to the point where social relations or health are damaged. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania.

7. Exploding head syndrome

It causes the sufferer to occasionally experience a tremendously loud noise as if from within his or her own head, usually described as an explosion or a roar. This usually occurs within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not the result of a dream.

8. Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder characterised by the repeated urge to pull out scalp hair, eyelashes, beard hair, nose hair, pubic hair, eyebrows or other body hair. It may be distantly related to obsessive-compulsive disorder, with which it shares both similarities and differences.

9. Fear of men (Androphobia)

Androphobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of men. Sufferers of this disorder experience anxiety even though they realize they may face no real threat. Androphobia is one of infinite possible phobias, and as such can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age.

10. Faking illnesses to gain attention (Munchausen syndrome)

In Munchausen syndrome, the sufferer feigns, exaggerates, or creates symptoms of illnesses in himself or herself in order to gain attention, sympathy, and comfort from medical personnel. The role of "patient" is a familiar and comforting one, and it fills a psychological need in people with Munchausen's.

Source: Pravda


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