Have you ever wondered what the human mind is capable of? Maybe you’ve wondered what goes on in the minds of the Unsubs on Criminal Minds or the seemingly regular people featured on My Strange Addiction. Regardless, here are 5 fascinating and rare mental illnesses you’ve probably never heard of that surely demonstrate the oddities of the human mind.

1) Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AiWS)

This disorder, also known as Todd’s Syndrome, is a neurophysical condition which impacts perception. The condition often involves sensory distortion in the forms of micropsia (objects appearing smaller than they actually are), macropsia (objects appearing larger than they actually are), pelopsia (objects appearing closer), and teleopsia (objects appearing further away). People with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome often experience hallucinations, nausea, and agitation in addition to the affected perception.

2) Frotteurism

This disorder is a paraphiliac condition, which involves the repeated feeling of sexual pleasure from rubbing body parts against another person. Although it typically involves the rubbing of one’s pelvic region against another person, sexual pleasure can be acquired using any body parts. Frotteurism is most often seen in males, where arousal often arises from rubbing against an unconsenting individual.

3) Cotard’s Syndrome

Cotard’s Syndrome is a psychotic disorder in which the affected person has an altered sense of reality. They often believe that they are a soul that has passed, are not in existence, or have lost their internal organs. Treatment for this mental illness ranges from anti-depressants to electroconvulsive (shock) therapy.

4) Capgras Syndrome

Capgras Syndrome is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a delusion that a loved one has been replaced by an imposter. This delusion is typical in individuals diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. It occurs more frequently in females, and is usually treated with antipsychotics or other therapeutic drugs.

5) Diogenes Syndrome

Diogenes Syndrome is a psychological disorder marked by severe self-neglect, squalor, social indifference, and excessive hoarding. The condition often stems from a stressful experience that affected the individual. This disorder typically culminates in either physical collapse or mental breakdown.

These 5 strange mental illnesses illustrate the diversity of the onset of mental illnesses as well as what they entail. Hopefully, after learning about these illnesses, the stigma surrounding mental illness will begin to disappear, and people will begin to understand why some participate in these “strange behaviors.”


Photo: rawpixel via Unsplash

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