7 Rare Mental Disorders that will leave you thankful for your brain!

Imagine waking up with a whole new accent… or being convinced that you were dead, or even creepier, a cow! ğŸ®

Unlike an upset stomach or a fractured arm, a damaged brain can lead to some really weird consequences. You may have heard of depression, schizophrenia and other famous disorders, but here are 7 rare mental disorders that’ll leave you feeling not-so-normal yourself… 🤕

1. Foreign Accent Syndrome

Imagine going to bed American, only to wake up British the next day! A few years ago, Lisa Alamia from Texas went through a jaw surgery. 😬 The surgery turned out successful, except for a slightly unexpected side effect… a brand new British accent. Whats more? Lisa had never even traveled outside of the country, apart from a short trip to Mexico. 😳
Though the situation seems hilarious, the foreign accent syndrome is an actual rare condition that causes its victims to change their accent completely! As you can imagine, the syndrome has left doctors completely mind-boggled, with no known cure till date. But if it’s a British accent, I think this is one syndrome I wouldn’t mind having! 🤣
Read up more on this disorder here.

2. Cotard Syndrome/ Walking Corpse Syndrome

Ever had those days where you felt ‘dead’ inside? 💀 Well for some, these moments are a lot more than temporary feelings. The cotard syndrome is a rare delusion in which the sufferer actually believes that he/she is either dead, does not exist or is actually DECAYING. As a result of its effects, it is also commonly called ‘the walking corpse’ syndrome. 😱
One of the earliest cases of the walking corpse syndrome was in 1788, when an old woman was preparing a meal and suddenly became paralyzed on one side of her body. When she finally gained consciousness, she ordered her daughter to place her in a coffin as she was now ‘dead’. 😳 When her daughter refused, she got even more frustrated and continued to demand that everyone treat her like she was dead. They finally had no choice but to give in, and put her in a shroud so that they could “mourn” her. When she finally fell asleep, her family undressed her and put her back into bed. The delusion eventually faded away, though it came back every few months, when the family would have to re-enact the ‘funeral’ all over again. 🤦”♀ï¸
Read up more on this disorder here.

3. Visual Agnosia

Patients with visual agnosia can be described as completely capable of sight.. but incapable of recognizing what exactly they were looking at. Victims often cannot recognize people, even if they knew each other before. In such situations, people suffering from the disorders may seek psychologists along with a neurologist like Dr Timothy Steel to find out if it’s a mental disorder or the result of some brain damage. 🤔
Certain cases may even be as extreme as not being able to recognize whether something is a person or an object. The weirdest case of visual agnosia is that of a patient of neurologist Oliver Sacks. His illness got so extreme, that he actually started to mistake his wife for a hat! ğŸ©ğŸ˜‚
Read up more on this disorder here.

4. Wendigo psychosis

Ever saw a baby so cute you could eat him up? 😠For sufferers of the wendigo psychosis, this is more than just a saying. The wendigo psychosis is one of the rarer, more dramatic disorders. What does it do? It makes you crave flesh. Yes, actual human flesh. The illness is said to make the victim believe that he/she is a ‘wendigo’- a supernatural creature made up by certain cultures. The symptoms ironically involve the initial loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. 🤢
However, the number of cases of the wendigo psychosis turned out to be very few, and most researchers concluded the illness to be a myth than an actual disorder.
P.S. This isn’t EXACTLY the same as cannibalism (though they are from the same category) since cannibals eat flesh as food. But Wendigo Psychosis is a mental disorder that makes you crave flesh, even though you may not have eaten it previously, nor do you consider it to be ‘food’.
Read up more on this disorder here.

5. Capgras Syndrome

Imagine living in a world in which the ones you love and trust the most are replaced by imposters. No one can see through these phony imposters but you, no one knows the truth about them but you. 😰 This is the reality that the sufferers of capgras syndrome live in. Or, so they may believe. Victims of the capgras syndrome are convinced that a loved one, usually a child or a significant other, are replaced by imposters. 😳
One such case was that of Mary, mother of 9 year old Sarah. On occasion, she had shown up to her daughter’s school and refused to pick her up, screaming “Give me my real daughter, I know what you’ve done!” Mary also reported that she had actually given birth to twins but that the hospital had only recorded the birth of Sarah’s. Despite reassurance from her friends and family, Mary refused to believe that the ‘imposter’ was her own child. 🤕
Despite continued attempts at treating the disorder, Mary’s showed very little improvement and the Department of Social Services took guardianship of Sarah until Mary was deemed fit to be a parent. What did little Sarah have to say about all of this? In response to being placed in a different custody, Sarah replied, “I love my mother except for when she doesn’t believe I’m me…” ☹ Even during the occasional visitations, Mary refused to talk to Sarah, insisting that she was not her daughter and that the ‘real’ Sarah had been hidden away from her. 😢
Read up more on this disorder here.

6. Autophagia

Thought the Tide Pod trend was weird? Wait till you hear this one. Autophagia refers to the condition of EATING parts of yourself, usually just by chewing away. 🤮 And though you may not realize it, there are mild versions of autophagia in almost everyone. For example, biting your nails or your lips are both symptoms of autophagia. 🙄
But when the sufferer experiences an extreme version of autophagia, he/she can resort to self-mutilation, which in this case, is pretty much equivalent to cannibalism. One such case of autophagia went on for 6 years. The patient was a 66 year old man, and the disorder started out as a normal habit of nail biting. However, the harmless habit slowly turned into severe finger mutilation by biting, and went on to the point where he completely destroyed and lost all of his fingers. 🤯
Read up more on this disorder here.

7. Lycanthropy

Ever wished you were a sloth on the days when all you want to do is sleep? 😴 Sufferers of lycanthropy tend to believe that they are an animal, or are transforming into one. Some patients experience delusions of changes in their appearance. Patients have been known to report seeing a werewolf’s head instead of their own in the mirror and some even feel claws growing in their feet. 😳 Another was even convinced that the bones in her body had been replaced by a pig’s! The disorder consists of various types, including boanthropy- a disorder that causes people to believe they are a cow 🮠or an ox ğŸ‚, and thus behave like one. And yes, that includes getting down on all fours and chewing on grass. Try irritating a boanthropic, and you’ll most definitely get charged at with their “horns”. 😈
Read up more on this disorder here.

Written and Researched by Najah Bashir

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