11 extremely rare mental health disorders that will shock you!



11 extremely rare mental health disorders that will shock you!

We don't all look at the world in the same way.

The brain's limitless energy has been a subject of intrigue and mystery for scientists and researchers since time immemorial. Nobody knows what a full-throttle brain can do. It is the brain's energy that led to geniuses like Einstein.

On the other side of the spectrum, it is the same energy that showed its dark side in people like the recent mass murderer Stephen Paddock.

Oliver Sacks' classic book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat introduced the world to an unheard of brain disorder, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Read into some of the most bizarre mental conditions and disorders out there that have even left scientists and doctors ina state ofhelpless dilemma and will change your perception of reality. 

#1 Boanthropy: a cow hiding inside the human brain


A delusional disorder in which a person believes himself to be a cow or an ox, boanthropy is a rare mental disorder. Scientists believe that the disorder begins with a dream and then oversteps reality, thus taking over the person's psyche and eventually growing into a full-scale state of delusion. In some cases, hypnotism has also led to an individual developing this condition.

Nebuchadnezzar was known to suffer from Boanthrophy. Image Source: Twitter

According to The Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, was said to be suffering from the disorder. The book stated that the King 'was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen.'

#2 Mary Hart Syndrome: Seizure on hearing Mary Hart's voice


Outrightly bizarre, there have been reported cases of people getting a seizure attack upon hearing the voice of Mary Hart, a prominent TV personality.

A doctor who was investigating the case, revealed that a patient who claimed to get seizure attack after hearing Mary Hart's voice, was indeed true.

The doctor also reported that the woman would clutch her head, end up confused and dazed, giving them a peek into the symptoms of this condition. This syndrome has affected only those who have had a previous history of seizure attacks.

#3 Capgras delusion: Advanced schizophrenia


This delusion compels a person to think that their loved ones have been replaced by imposters—even aliens and robots. Common among patients who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia or have suffered a brain injury and even dementia, this disorder afflicts females more than males.

Case in point: A 36-year-old woman, post her child's birth, developed a delusion that her son and other family members had been replaced by imposters. She lived with the delusion for five years. Finally, the woman was given electroconvulsive therapy (electric shocks are passed through the brain to induce a seizure), and recovery fell in place gradually.

#4 Alien Hand Syndrome: Out-of-body experience

This is a condition in which the patient's arm functions like it has a mind of its own. It swings, responds, grabs, moves around, all at its own accord, without the person having any control over the movements. This condition has also led to depression in many patients as they develop a delusion that there is somebody else controlling them.

The condition may be caused when the connections between the brain's two hemispheres are severed, but can also happen after a stroke or some other brain injury. Only about four dozen cases of alien hand syndrome have been reported in the world.

#5 Hemispatial neglect: Half-dead and half-alive brain.


This condition is common among people who have suffered a stroke or damage to one side of the brain. The person is unable to process information received from that side of the body or environment (often the side opposite to the brain injury).

For example, patients may neglect to eat half the food on her plate or may draw a clock face showing only the numbers 12 to 6, completely missing out the other side of the information.

#6 Jerusalem syndrome: Delusions after entering the Holy city

A completely normal German man paid a visit to the holy city of Jerusalem to study Judaism. But he ended up having a psychotic episode in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a church built on the site where Jesus is thought to have been crucified and buried.

It is said that this man may have suffered from a condition which is now recognized as Jerusalem syndrome. The condition renders patients psychotic, leaving them with severe delusions. Israeli psychiatrists reported in 2000 that 1,200 tourists had been admitted to the city's Kfar Shaul Mental Health Centre with "severe, Jerusalem-generated mental problems" between the years 1980 and 1993.

#7 Riley-Day Syndrome

Also known as Familial Dysautonomia, it’s a disorder that is inherited through genes (both sides of the parents must possess the gene).

Riley-Day syndrome affects the autonomous nervous system. Frequent vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing are few of the problems patients face. Other than these, it also makes the patient completely insensitive to pain; signaling towards a possible brain malfunction.

#8 Mirror-touch synaesthesia

On an episode of the National Public Radio Show, a woman who wished to remain anonymous, reported that when she saw people being hugged, she felt like she was getting a hug herself. When she saw someone get hurt, she felt pain in the same place as they did. And she can't watch people eat because she feels like she's eating the same food that was being eaten by them.

This rare condition mirror's what other people do. While some patients are born with the condition, other patients developed the condition after suffering from a stroke or after they underwent amputation (which can lead to sensations in the 'phantom' limb). The first case of this condition was reported in 2005.

#9 Exploding head syndrome

It is a condition in which patients perceive a loud bang in their head. A deafening sound similar to an explosion or gunshot originates inside their head, leading to the 'explosion' inside their head. Although patients haven't reported any physical discomfort, experts suggest that the condition could be the result of excessive stress or failure.


A case of a 57-year-old Indian man who complained about deafening noises emanating from his head four times in a span of two years. He said that he would wake up from sleep by a 'flashing' sound on the right side of his head, which he described as 'explosions in my head'.

#10 Aphantasia : Mind blindness

Etymologically meaning, imagination in Greek, this condition isn't recognized as a neurological condition, however, researchers have claimed that more than 20 people developed this condition where they had suffered from the inability to picture things in their mind's eye.

A case of a 65-year-old man called MX suddenly lost the ability to summon up images of things in his mind after a coronary angioplasty surgery. On further questioning, he reported that he was not able to visualize any image, despite the fact that he performed normally on standard tests of perception, visual imagery, and visual memory.

#11 Cotard Syndrome : Walking dead syndrome

Mr. B was a 65-year-old retired teacher with no family history of mental illness, when he suddenly began having sad moods, and absolutely stopped feeling any pleasure or happiness. He started eating less and sleeping even less.

Alongside this bizarre physiological symptoms, he also developed feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. These symptoms then led to delusions where he believed that his organs had stopped working and his house was going to crash down. After an attempt to kill himself, he started believing that he was dead.

This man suffered from a condition known as Cotard's syndrome (or Walking Corpse syndrome), in which a patient thinks he or she is dead. But there have been reported cases of patients developing a psyche that they consider themselves to be immortal. Treatment for the condition can include antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs, or even electroconvulsive therapy.

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