Between the complexity of the human brain and the often fragile nature of the human psyche, our species is prone to a number of psychological disorders.
Here are 10 of the weirder ones.
Number 10. Cotard's Delusion. Those affected believe they are dead. Some also report smelling their own flesh rotting, having lost their internal organs, and harboring a belief they have never, in fact, been alive. Treatments involving medication have proven successful in a number of cases.
Number 9. Paris Syndrome. Though visiting Paris and deciding the city isn't all it's cracked up to be sounds like a luxury problem, in some instances the realization has triggered a serious disorder. Every year, about 20 tourists hailing from Japan mentally break down after learning the real Paris differs greatly from the romantic one shown in movies and magazines.
Number 8. Capgras Delusion. Sufferers suspect their friends, loved ones, pets, and even homes have been replaced by imposters and replicas. Some theories cite damage along the brain's communication passageways as a cause. Though connections can be made in regards to physical familiarity, access to the part of the brain that holds the related emotional information is unavailable.
Number 7. Fregoli Syndrome. Characterized by imagining that strangers are really a single known person wearing a number of clever disguises, the syndrome has been linked to the presence of brain lesions. It also tends to exist alongside schizophrenic disorders.
Number 6. Clinical Lycanthropy. The first patient diagnosed with the disorder, which involves delusions of transforming into an animal, said he had turned into wolf. In the roughly 165 years since, additional reports by affected people include bones being replaced by those of a pig and the growing of claws.
Number 5. Mary Hart Seizures. The sound of the Entertainment Tonight host's voice has been shown to trigger seizures among some with epilepsy. One woman even won damages from the hospital that forced her to work in an area where the program was regularly played.
Number 4. Stendhal Syndrome. Some appreciate art more than others. Those who have strong physical reactions to being in the midst of large concentrations of great works may qualify for this diagnosis. Effects include heart palpitations, confusion, and hallucinations.
Number 3. Alien Hand Syndrome. Marked by a complete lack of control over the namesake appendage, the condition is a rare but potentially harmful one. Incident descriptions range from unintentionally grabbing objects to doing physical harm to one's self.
Number 2. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. As the name suggests, the disorder involves sudden changes in how a person perceives the relative size of their own body parts. For example, one's feet can suddenly seem clownishly large or inoperably small. Children are most often affected, and typically outgrow the syndrome by their teens.
Number 1. Boanthropy. It is a belief that one is a cow. Though the psychological issue is extremely rare, cases may date back to the time of Babylon. The Biblical account of King Nebuchadnezzar turning into a cow is said by some to be an early record of the condition.
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