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5 Bizarre Psychological Disorders That Exists

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Mental disorders affect millions of people in the world and can lead to years of psychotherapy. In some cases, the psychological problem suffered is extremely rare or bizarre. This is a list of the five most bizarre psychological disorders.

Body Integrity Identity Disorder

Also known as Amputee Identity Disorder, this illness causes a person to wish to have a healthy part of their body amputated. In some cases, the sufferer has gone so far as to amputate their own limbs. Some sufferers also have sexual fetishes involving amputees. Some surgeons  have actually amputated a limb for a person suffering this disorder but it is a highly controversial move and most doctors use similar treatments to those used for phantom limb disorders. Hence, it is one of the most bizarre psychological disorders.  

Bizarre Psychological Disorders

What Causes Body Integrity Identity Dysphoria

Even though the root cause and the underlying mechanisms of what leads to this mental disorder are unknown, scientists believe that some factors contributing to it could be related to obsessive-compulsive habits, childhood and sexual trauma and sexual fantasies.  

Signs and Symptoms

  • Stress
  • extreme mood disorders
  • anxiety and depression are some common symptoms associated with this disorder.  
  • Body  dysmorphia  and anorexia are also said to be linked to  BIID.
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SOURCE

Prosopagnosia, or “face blindness.” This disorder is characterized by an inability to recognize faces visually even with normal vision. People with prosopagnosia may be able to recognize their friends through sounds, smells, or touch.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Erotomania

Erotomania refers to people who are deluded into thinking that someone else is in love with them but what makes this disorder especially bizarre is that the person who is supposedly in love with the sufferer is usually someone of much higher status than themselves-and often a celebrity.

This delusion can be difficult to break; even if the supposed lover directly denies any feelings of love, it is often not enough to convince the deluded individual. Unfortunately, there isn’t much known about this particular disorder, especially in regard to its treatment.

Diogenes syndrome is another bizarre phycological disorder especially seen in the elderly where a person does not take care of themselves or their surroundings, leading to poor hygiene and possibly some health and social challenges

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

What Causes Erotomania

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are two mental disorders that are highly linked with erotomania. Feelings of low self-esteem, fear of rejection and loneliness, social distancing and refusal to believe anyone else’s point of view apart from your own are some common attributes observed in people with this disorder. People with low self-esteem are at a higher risk of developing this disorder since they may misread social situations and weave a story in their heads that makes them feel better. Losing a loved one or someone you were attached to can also cause this disorder as the patient may falsely associate themselves with a person of a much higher status to seek a sense of security.

Signs and Symptoms

  • False sense that someone is showing interest in you and refusal to accept otherwise even when the person might tell them that it’s not true.
  • Trying to find hidden messages and nonverbal hints in inanimate objects and everyday situations.

Folie à Deux

Folie à deux (from the French for ”a madness shared by two”) is a rare psychiatric syndrome in which a symptom of psychosis is transmitted from one person to another. The same syndrome shared by more than two people may be called folie à trois, folie à quatre, folie en famille (family madness) or even folie à plusieurs (”madness of many”).

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This disorder usually happens with people living in close proximity to one another- such as husbands and wives.

What Causes Folie à deux

Even though the precise causes of this disorder are unknown the two major factors contributing to the development of this disorder are

  • Social isolation
  • Stress

Research states that when people are socially isolated from the world but are living in the same space together, they tend to depend on each other, picking up each other’s habits and getting influenced by one another. When these people are isolated together, they don’t have an outsider to point out their delusions and correct them. Thus, they go on believing that their delusions are true. It is important to separate these people when treating them from the inducer who influenced them.  

Signs and Symptoms

  • Firm delusions and belief that something is true when in reality is not
  • Paranoia
  • Regular hallucinations
  • Aggressive behaviour towards those challenging their delusions

Derealization

Derealization is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems strange or unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one’s environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional colouring and depth. Individuals who suffer from derealization may complain that what they see lacks vividness and emotional colouring. Emotional response to visual recognition of loved ones may be significantly reduced. Feelings of déjà vu are common. Familiar places may look alien, bizarre and surreal. The world as perceived by the individual may feel like it is going through a dolly zoom effect. Such perceptual abnormalities may also extend to the senses of hearing, taste and smell.

What Causes Derealization

Derealization is often caused by events that have occurred at a young age like – emotional trauma, abuse and neglect. When a child faces trauma such as these in their formative years, they tend to resort to detachment from their immediate environment to cope with the hurt. Other causes include:

  • PTSD from an accident
  • Sexual, physical, mental and emotional torture
  • Parents showing symptoms of severe mental disorders
  • Losing a loved one unexpectedly

Signs and Symptoms

  • Distorted perception of surroundings – appears 2 dimensional, lacks colour, artificial due to abnormally enhanced awareness.
  • Distortion in size, shape and distance and time.

Mythomania

Mythomania is a condition involving compulsive lying by a person with no obvious motivation. The affected person might believe their lies to be the truth and may have to create elaborate myths to reconcile them with other facts. A ”pathological liar” is someone who often embellishes his or her stories in a way that he or she believes will impress people. It may be that a pathological liar is different from a normal liar in that a pathological liar believes the lie he or she is telling to be true, at least in public and is ”playing” the role.

As with any other mental disorder, it is important to seek counseling if you suspect you or someone you know is suffering. Taboos and stigmas are obstacles one must ignore to achieve mental well-being and treating some of the most bizarre psychological disorders.

What Causes Mythomania

Research conducted to get to the underlying issues causing pathological lying hasn’t yielded any accurate reasoning yet. However, this disorder is said to be a symptom observed in several other personality disorders like narcissistic disorder, antisocial personality type and histrionic personality to name a few.  

Signs and Symptoms

  • Poor impulse control
  • Manipulative and controlling
  • No guilt about lying
  • Lying without a motive
  • Distorting the truth about the tiniest of things even
  • Escalated sense of self-worth

Disclaimer:  The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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