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September 12, 2019 4 min read


Growing up, we all develop our own fascination with different characters that appear in movies or extraordinary situations depicted in motion pictures. However, did you know that there are some rare mental health issues that seem as unreal as the characters in these movies or the situations we thought only existed in that fiction flicks playing on the screens of our TV sets?

While we all have heard and know about mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, there is more to this dilemma than we can imagine. Included below are 5 rare mental health issues that seem as mythical as the movies we watch on the weekends or the seasons we find ourselves glued to. 

So, brace yourselves and get ready to dive into the world of these rare mental illnesses that are sure to bring back memories of your latest obsessions.


Alice In Wonderland Syndrome 

You might remember Alice. She was that young girl who hops down a rabbit hole to meet her imaginary friends in the famous tale ‘Alice In Wonderland’. However, while all that fiction is the beauty of this acclaimed story and (later) movie, it isn’t quite whimsical when a person actually experiences the ‘Alice In Wonderland’ syndrome in real life.

This syndrome is characterised by episodes of distortion in an individual’s perception of time, body image (size) and/or space. It affects one’s sense of hearing, vision and touch and targets mostly children and young adults. While the exact cause(s) of this condition is primarily unknown, migraines, brain tumors, certain infections and drug use are some factors that are believed to contribute to its onset. 


Alien Hand Syndrome

Alien Hand Syndrome is characterised by a neurological condition in which one of the patient’s hands behaves like they are their own boss and therefore don’t act in coordination with their other hand. The syndrome can affect any of a person’s limbs, however, it most commonly targets their hands. 

Alien hand syndrome is most prevalent in people who suffer damage to their corpus callosum, which is a structure that forms the connection between the left and right hemispheres of our brain. This is primarily the reason this syndrome is believed to have been associated with brain surgeries that involve corpus callosum.

The affected hand is apparently in no control of its owner, deciding and acting as an independent individual having a brain of their own. It therefore performs actions and engages in activities that aren’t directed by the patient. While patients don’t completely disown the affected hand, they do believe it's no more in their control.


Cotard’s Syndrome

Now this one might be the most fascinating for The Walking Dead fans or those enthralled by the zombie apocalypse. Imagine someone turned into a zombie or proclaiming to be a walking dead in real life. This might not only be a captivating illusion but borderline scary, to be honest.

Cotard’s syndrome is identified as a condition in which one believes themselves to be dead or an ethereal being who does not exist in reality. It is essentially a dismissal of the fact that one is alive and might lead to the patient starving themselves or discontinuing other activities that are vital for the survival of a human. 

What brings about this walking dead syndrome is not known explicitly, owing to the rarity of the disease. However, doctors suspect it may be caused by some brain dysfunctioning or in people diagnosed with mental health issues such as schitzorprhenis.


Diogenes Syndrome

Are you guilty of hoarding stuff?

I think we all shall agree that a majority of us are found culpable of this habit. However did you know that, in its extremity, it is a form of a rare mental health disorder called Diogenes syndrome?

Diogenes syndrome is also characterised by a person overlooking themselves and their surroundings as well as being highly distrustful of people which ultimately transpires into different issues related to their health and social well being. It usually accompanies other mental health conditions such as dementia and is found to affect those who are aged, live in isolation or suffer from the uncertainty associated with erratic home environment.


Stendhal Syndrome

While there is a vast majority of us who appreciate art and even a small minority that is not particularly interested in the colourful visuals and enchanting patterns, there are certain people for whom exposure to art means the onslaught of panic attacks, anxiety, confusion and hallucinations. 

Strange, but true!

Stendhal syndrome is a condition that pushes all the wrong buttons in affected individuals when they encounter an art masterpiece or find themselves amidst several art pieces displayed in a particular space such as a museum. While it is an absolute irony that these individuals feel overwhelmed by the extraordinary beauty surrounding them, Stendhal syndrome can also be triggered by exposure to other seemingly appealing and charming surroundings such as natural beauty or sunrise. 

We hope that you found the above rare and extraordinary mental health conditions an interesting read and are intrigued to find out more about them. Make yourself get heard in the comments section below if you have ever encountered a person with any of the conditions/symptoms above or share your thoughts if you just got to know about them (like us!)

Until next time. 

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