Saturday, April 20, 2019

R - Rare Mental Disorders #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness

Worldwide, about 450 million individuals have some sort of mental illness. Whereas such illnesses as anxiety disorder, depression, and eating disorders are widely known and seen more commonly in the population, there are a plethora of rare psychiatric illnesses that physicians may encounter.

Although these disorders are seldom seen, it is important that physicians remain aware of them to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment for patients with these illnesses. These rare psychiatric syndromes range from reactions to overwhelming situations, delusions as a result of traumatic brain injury, and specific manifestations due to the presence of other psychiatric syndromes.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Also known as Todd syndrome, Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS) is a neurologic condition “in which a patient’s sense of body image, space, and/or time [is] distorted,” according to Medscape. Those experiencing AIWS may have hallucinations, sensory distortion and an altered sense of velocity. AIWS results from change in perception. Though there are many symptoms, the most prevalent one is altered body image: Patients are confused about the size and shape of parts of their bodies. These symptoms can trigger panic and fear responses.


People with aboulomania report being paralyzed with indecision over every minor decision they have to make. Normal daily activities such as going for a walk, getting some work done become impossibly difficult to prioritize. What’s interesting about aboulomania is that the affected person is otherwise completely normal. People with the condition just can’t stop obsessively working up elaborate arguments in favor of deciding the flavor of their next drink or pizza topping.

Stendhal Syndrome

Those with Stendhal syndrome experience physical and emotional anxiety as well as panic attacks, dissociative experiences, confusion and hallucinations when exposed to art. These symptoms are usually triggered by “art that is perceived as particularly beautiful or when the individual is exposed to large quantities of art that are concentrated in a single place,” such as a museum or gallery. This syndrome is named after a 19th-century French author who experienced the symptoms during a trip to Florence in 1817. Stendhal syndrome may also be called hyperculturemia or Florence syndrome.


This is a pathological desire to have sex with someone famous. It is more than admiration or interest in being famous. This disorder is characterized by feeling an incredibly intense romantic or sexual desire for a celebrity.

Capgras Syndrome

This syndrome is named for Joseph Capgras, a French psychiatrist who explored the illusion of doubles. Those with Capgras syndrome hold the delusional belief that someone in their life, usually a spouse, close friend or family member, has been replaced by an impostor. It can occur in patients with schizophrenia, dementia, epilepsy and after traumatic brain injury. Treatment approaches mirror those utilized for the underlying disorders and often include antipsychotic medications.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


  1. Thank you very much for sharing these rare mental disorders. Definitely insightful for I never knew the terms!

  2. I actually expected not to know most of these since its been so long since I read up on them but knew all... Even Stendhal though that was because a tv sitcom showcased it a few years ago

  3. My God! Had no clue about these disorders. I am now wondering could I be suffering from aboulomania? No seriously ....

  4. I never knew about these! Glad you wrote! also write about sleepwalk and sleeptalk

  5. thanks Shalini, yes these are rare

  6. Of course Roshan you would know but most people don't.

  7. I will Say again and again The Novice soul please don't self-diagnose

  8. Pooja, I had never heard any of these terms. And all of these quite different. Alice in Wonderland, Capgras . Thanks for sharing

  9. Wow...never heard of these.Thank u for sharing...Alice in wonderland...really interesting.

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