Understanding mental disorders is not a child’s play. This could possibly be due to a huge gap in terms of awareness and knowledge about various mental health illnesses. At times, recognizing the symptoms of an underlying mental health condition could be so challenging that they often go unnoticed and hence, remain untreated. Thus, when it comes to diagnosis, most mental health illnesses, such as depression or anxiety, are considered as behaviors against the societal norms and parameters, which can get normal over time.
Surprisingly, there are a number of mental conditions, than one can possibly think of. While a majority of mental health illnesses are listed on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), many of them are unrecorded are still facing ambiguity and debate about their nature and status. As a result, these conditions are not only misunderstood, by both the sufferers and the caregivers, but also lack specific guidelines for diagnosis. This further poses significant challenges on the way to treatment and recovery.
Here are a few bizarre mental disorders, which, although less discussed, are quite prevalent among the population across the world:
Stockholm syndrome: Borrowing a name from the famous robbery incidence in Stockholm in August 1973, Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response in which the hostage develops affection for the abductor. As a result, the hostage expresses signs of sympathy, loyalty and voluntary compliance toward the captivator. Besides the hostages, the condition is also highly prevalent among those involved in wife-beating, rape and child abuse.
Diogenes syndrome: Named after an ancient Greek philosopher, Diogenes, the condition is characterized by extreme self-neglect, reclusive tendencies and compulsive hoarding (behavior pattern defined by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects). The syndrome is commonly found in old people and is often associated with senile breakdown. Notably, except for the name, the syndrome has no links with the Greek philosopher Diogenes.
Stendhal syndrome: Referred to as a psychosomatic illness, Stendhal syndrome was first described by the French author Stendhal during his 1817 visit to Florence, Italy, in his book titled “Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio.” The syndrome typically occurs when an individual is exposed to beautiful art or comes in proximity to immense natural beauty. It is generally characterized by symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, and even hallucinations.
Capgras delusion: Also known as delusional misidentification, it is one of the rarest conditions experienced by humans. People suffering from this mental health disorder tend to develop a delusion that an identical-looking impostor has replaced their close family member. However, this is more commonly found in people diagnosed with schizophrenia and dementia, or those recovering from a brain injury.
Cotard’s delusion: A person suffering from this bizarre mental health disorder believes that he or she is dead and has no blood or organs. Named after the neurologist Jules Cotard, the condition usually comprises symptoms ranging from self-loathing to intense delusions of negation and chronic psychiatric depression. Although the exact cause of the disorder largely remains unknown, many experts associate the condition with other mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia, depending on the age of the patient.
Seeking professional help
Mental disorders must be taken seriously, as it can be very damaging if left untreated. If you or a loved one is suffering from any mental health illnesses, seek immediate medical assistance from the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with our representatives who are available for your queries on mental health services.