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The 26 strangest mental and psychological disorders

The 26 strangest mental and psychological disorders

January 19, 2023

Mental disorders are frequently diagnosed today , and according to experts, one in three people suffer or will suffer some type of mental disorder throughout their lives.

Some of these psychological disorders are well known, such as depressive disorder, anorexia, Bipolar Disorder or schizophrenia. However, there are other disorders and mental illnesses that are rare due to their low frequency of appearance or their strange symptoms .

The rarest mental disorders

But… What are these atypical mental alterations? What strange psychopathologies can we find?


Below you can find a list of 26 very curious mental disorders:

1. Altrofagia or Pica

Some eating disorders are very popular (such as anorexia or bulimia), however, there are others unknown by most of the population. One of them is the Altrophagia or Pica, characterized because the person with this psychological alteration have an uncontrollable desire to eat non-nutritive or edible substances like for example the earth or the painting.

Although some children can carry out this behavior by total ignorance of the harmful consequences of these substances, the Pica can occur at advanced ages. These substances, besides not containing any nutritional value, can seriously damage the health of the person who consumes them.


  • Learn more about this disorder: "Itching (alotrophagia): causes, symptoms and possible treatments"

2. Folie à trois

La Folie à Trois is a very strange psychotic disorder . If the Folie à Deux, in which two people share delirium, is little common, the Folie à Trois is less common, in which three individuals share the psychotic outbreak.

A well-known case of Folie à Trois is of three American sisters. Two of them moved to the same home and were neighbors of their other sister. The disorder arose suddenly when they became close, because they spent a lot of time together.

The three sisters had strong religious beliefs and the little girl began to question how there could be different interpretations of the bible. This idea developed in the minds of the three sisters, and they decided to go to a house that was not theirs to begin their work. The owners of the home, who were in the house at that time, did not let them in, called the police. When they arrived at the scene, they were attacked by the three sisters.


  • Related article: "Folie à Deux (shared madness): the strangest cases"

3. Alien hand syndrome

The alien hand syndrome (also Syndrome of the alien hand or Syndrome of Dr. Strangelove) is a rare neurological disorder in which the hand goes on its own and does what it wants. The person feels that the hand is not his .

This syndrome should not be confused with the phantom limb syndrome, which is suffered by some people who have lost a limb. You can know more about this last condition in this article: "The phantom limb and the mirror box therapy."

4. Trichophagia

The trichophagia or Rapunzel syndrome is another eating disorder very strange because of the infrequent occurrence of . It consists in that the person suffering from this condition has an irresistible desire to eat his own hair. This causes serious problems in the stomach, because the hair causes an intestinal blockage. It is usually presented along with trichotillomania, which is the pathological impulse to pull one's own hair.

5. Autocannibalism or Autosarcophagy

This strange mental disorder is characterized because the person he eats his own skin or consumes his own blood . Autocannibalism also occurs in Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, a disorder in which a person self-mutilates and consumes their own body parts.

Individuals with this disease have compulsive behaviors such as biting the fingertips and lips (or any other part of the body to which they have access), inserting their fingers into their eyes or throwing their bodies against the wall.

6. Boantropia

If the case of the Zoantropy is already rare, in which the person thinks that he is an animal, in boantropia he thinks it's a cow or an ox . This type of behavior is known as delirium of lycanthropy, a psychopathological phenomenon that manifests itself as the unreal belief of the body's own transformation in that of an animal. In this case, the person adopts the typical behaviors of the animal in question.

7. Aboulomanía

It may be that sometimes we have to make a difficult decision and we do not know what to do, something that is not normal. On the other hand, there are people who suffer from an aboulomania, that is, the inability to make decisions . Deciding what to eat in a restaurant when you have the letter in hand becomes a difficult situation when a person suffers from this psychological disorder.

8. Foreign accent syndrome

Foreign accent syndrome is one of the most rare neurological disorders, usually a consequence of a brain injury, such as an accident or a cerebrovascular injury. It is a rare condition, which causes the person to speak their mother tongue as if they had a foreign accent.

9. Hikikomori

Hikikomori is a psychopathological and sociological phenomenon that is characterized because the person isolates himself from society and locks himself in his room avoiding having contact with the people around him . It receives this name because, until recently, it was characteristic of Japan. Nowadays it is known that there are also cases in the West, even in Spain.

  • Recommended article: "Hikikomori in Spain: social isolation syndrome does not only affect Japan"

10. Diogenes Syndrome

Diogenes Syndrome is one of those more known strange disorders. It is characterized because people suffering from this condition store and collect many belongings and possessions in your home . These people are unable to get rid of them, so they accumulate more and more waste and abandoned objects in general. People find it strange that a person can live surrounded by garbage and this generates isolation, as well as hygiene and feeding problems.

You can know more and deepen this disorder in our article: "Diogenes Syndrome: causes, symptoms and treatment"

11. Tourette syndrome

One of the most striking disorders is undoubtedly the Tourette Syndrome or Gilles de Tourette Syndrome (by Georges Gilles de Tourette, which is the eponym of this disorder). It is a neurological disorder that is characterized by those who suffer perform involuntary movements and sounds without a specific purpose .

To better illustrate what this disorder is, we invite you to know more about a well-known real case. You can see it in this article that contains audiovisual content: "Super Taldo: the famous case of the Chilean child with Tourette Syndrome."

12. Stockholm syndrome

This disorder occurs in those people who have been victims of a kidnapping, they show some kind of positive feeling towards their captors and they create emotional bonds with them . Some experts think that it is a defense mechanism, a reaction provoked by the stress of a traumatic situation that happened. It is considered a strange disorder because it is difficult to understand.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Stockholm syndrome: friend of my kidnapper"

13. Taijin Kyofusho syndrome

Taijin Kyofusho Syndrome is a social anxiety disorder (SAD) that usually occurs in Japan, and is characterized by a strong fear that the body, its parts or its functions are offensive to other people .

It can be confused with social phobia, but while the latter refers to the fear of being shamed in front of others, individuals suffering from the Taijin Kyofusho Syndrome fear embarrassing others by virtue of their presence or appearance.

In other words, in social phobia the person cares for their reaction, in the Taijin Kyofusho worries about how others will feel with their presence.

14. Erotomania

This mental disorder is rare. The person who suffers it has the illusory belief that an individual, of higher status, is in love with him or her, with the peculiarity that the person supposedly in love is usually someone famous . A strange and unusual pathology.

15. Omfalofobia

The Omfalofobia it is the irrational fear of the navels . This fear or discomfort is towards your own navel or that of others. These individuals experience difficulties when bathing because they can not see or touch their navel.

The symptoms are the hallmarks of any specific phobia: irritability, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, feeling of anger along with anger, as well as a feeling of utter helplessness. Without a doubt, one of the rarest mental disorders.

16. Jerusalem syndrome

A disorder is strange that manifests itself in the form of delusions, visions and loss of contact with reality, after visiting the Holy City of Jerusalem or other sacred areas of Israel . It is a psychotic disorder that affects both tourists and people who live in this city.

17. Paris syndrome

Jerusalem is not the only city that is part of this list of mental disorders, because we can also find the city of light: Paris. The Paris Syndrome is a psychological condition experienced by Japanese tourists who are very disappointed when they visit the French capital . The reason seems to be in the unreal expectations that the Japanese have regarding this metropolis.

  • You can learn more in our article: "Paris Syndrome: the strange disorder suffered by some Japanese tourists"

18. Koro syndrome (genital restraint syndrome)

Another disorder that occurs more frequently in Asian countries is Koro Syndrome, an anxiety disorder characterized because the person who suffers thinks that his penis is shrinking every day until disappear. Not only that, but his member is absorbed by the body to the point of death.

Although it occurs mostly in men, some women also have the belief that their external genitalia and nipples will be absorbed into the body and die.

19. Illness of Alice in Wonderland

The Alice in Wonderland Disease is characterized by the presence of micropsy or macropsy, and is a neurological disorder that affects visual perception and in which the person sees the objects that surround him as smaller (micropsia) and larger (macropsia) . Patients also suffer an alteration in the perception of time in certain places or moments

20. Münchausen syndrome

Münchausen syndrome is a type of factitious disorder. It is an affectation in which people simulate in a constant and intentional manner very striking diseases. This can lead to self-harm or ingestion of toxic substances to receive care . His motivation is to assume the role of sick and be attended.

  • Related article: "Münchhausen syndrome: causes, symptoms and treatment"

21. Triscaidecaphobia

This phobic disorder is due to irrational fear of number 13 . People with this phobia avoid this number because of the tremendous anxiety they feel when they see it or touch anything that contains it. We must differentiate this type of anxiety disorder with parascevedecatriafobia, which is the phobia on Friday the 13th. It is one of the most strange mental disorders due to the specific nature of what produces fear.

22. Illusion of glass

This is a very strange psychological disorder in which the person He believes that his body is made of glass and that it can be broken at any moment . Despite the evidence that they are made of flesh and blood, they are not able to abandon this false belief.

23. Cotard syndrome

This serious mental disorder is unusual. It is characterized because the subject perceives that he is separated from reality. You can see your body in the mirror, but you notice it as something strange, as if it did not exist. Individuals with Cotard Syndrome, often believe they are dead or in a state of decomposition .

  • Related text: "Cotard syndrome": living people who believe they are dead "

24. Fregoli syndrome

An unusual mental disorder in which the person suffering from it has the belief that different people are, in truth, one . Therefore, think that this individual is able to modify their physical appearance. Usually accompanied by persecutory delusions.

25. Capgras syndrome

If the previous point has seemed strange, even stranger is the Capgras Syndrome. The people who suffer it they think that their friends and family are, in fact, impostors , despite there being no objective reasons to have this belief. They usually react with hostility toward their family and friends, thinking that it is not them.

  • Related article: "Capgras syndrome: when loved ones are impostors"

26. Reduplicative Paramnesia

This type of delusional disorder is really curious, because the person has the delusional idea that the context or scenario in which it has been duplicated , that is, there is another identical or several identical ones somewhere in the world. They may also believe that this specific place has been moved to another location.


Terrifying Mental Disorders | SERIOUSLY STRANGE #9 (January 2023).


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