8 Psychological Disorders
that You Thought
By Eldrin Veloso
The mind is a beautiful thing, but its complexity is beyond comprehension. It is a labyrinth, a maze, that it has even the best psychologists and neuroscientists running around circles in trying to unravel its mystery.
Which is why us ordinary mortals must extend a lot more understanding to those afflicted by mental illnesses.
To help us understand more of these illnesses, here are some rare psychological disorders that you may have previously discounted as nag-iinarte lang.
or the “maniwala ka sa kin, bes” syndrome
Mythomania is the psychological disorder that exhibits pathological lying. Sometimes, mythomaniacs do not know that they are lying, and they themselves believe the lies they fabricated.
While diagnosing it is controversial and hard, mythomania can be treated with constant therapy.
7. Capgras Delusion
or the “impostor ka, bes” syndrome
If a friend or relative suddenly called you an impostor, don’t immediately slap him/her. People with Capgras delusion suffer from a condition where they think their acquaintances have been replaced with impostors. Named after Joseph Capgras, the French psychiatrist who first described it, this delusion can be a manifestation of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
What you can do for a person suffering this is to enter their reality and gain a better understanding of their situation. Never argue about their version of the truth as it can aggravate the distortion of their reality. Since this is a rare and hardly understood condition, it is best to consult with a specialist for a better treatment.
or the “sino ka?” syndrome
Speaking of not recognizing people, don’t be offended when your friend suddenly seems to have not recognized you. They might be suffering from prosopagnosia, or face blindness. They know you and they can identify your facial features, but the region in their brain responsible for retaining memory of these features (fusiform gyrus) is damaged. Therefore, they can’t associate the facial features with a certain memory of identification; it’s like always seeing the person for the first time.
Although there are some serious attempts in curing face blindness, no therapies have demonstrated lasting improvements on prosopagnosics. They instead use other tools or features to recognize people, like dresses or verbal cues.
or the “type ako ni crush, bes” syndrome
Are you fed up with your friend’s illusion that his or her ultimate crush is making the moves on him or her? Don’t unfriend them yet; they might be erotomaniacs. Erotomania is the disorder where sufferers believe that another person is in love with them. This belief is usually applied to someone with higher status or a famous person, but can also be applied to a complete stranger. A famous case of this is of a woman who had stood outside Buckingham Palace for hours at a time, believing that then King George V was communicating his desire for her by moving the curtains.
This delusion is often a symptom of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder. The disorder manifests in efforts of the affected person to return the perceived affection, e.g. stalking, writing letters, or even extreme harassing behaviors. And if their advances are dismissed, it can only fuel their belief that the object of affection is just trying to hide their forbidden love from the public.
Case reports have suggested that social media could exacerbate or even trigger delusional beliefs linked to erotomania. The medical and therapeutic treatment for this disorder should be tailored to the affected person.
or the “di ako makadecide, bes” syndrome
Aboulomaniacs suffer from pathological indecisiveness. What to eat, what to watch, what to wear—these are the dreaded daily decision-making that render them paralyzed from choosing. It is typically associated with anxiety, stress, depression, and mental anguish, and can affect one’s social function severely. Extreme cases can lead to suicide.
Because of their indecisiveness, they go to great lengths to stay in relationships that can support them in decision-making, or make decisions for them.
This disorder is hard to diagnose and can only often be discovered when treating other related psychological disorder the person is suffering. Therapy is the best treatment, albeit only in a short-term so as to avoid dependence on the therapist.
3. Clinical Lycanthropy
or the “pusa ako today, bes” syndrome
Based on the mythical affliction that makes humans physically shapeshift to wolves, clinical lycanthropy is a mental disorder that involves a delusion that the affected person is transforming to an animal. The sufferer feels like an animal, and sometimes, actually behaves like one, e.g. barking, howling, crawling.
2. Mirror Touch Synesthesia
or the “feel kita, bes” syndrome
Sometimes, you might deem your friend overacting when they say, “I can literally feel your pain.” But don’t dismiss it quite yet; they might actually can. Mirror Touch Synesthesia is a condition in which individuals can feel the same sensation that another person feels. A normal person can empathize to some degree the physical feeling that they see in others; people with mirror touch synesthesia can literally feel the pain, like a slap on the cheek or a needle prick on the arm. It’s because the area of the brain that creates this empathy is hyperactive for them.
Some who have this condition actually consider this a blessing; it makes them highly considerate of others’ feelings. For instance this mirror touch synesthete neurologist believes his condition has served him well, professionally. “Even though she couldn’t speak, her body was letting me know that there was more here than just “routine” hospital-induced delirium.”
1. Riley-Day Syndrome
or the “manhid na ako, bes” syndrome
From an oversensitive friend, you might come across with someone who does not feel pain at all. They might be suffering from Riley-Day Syndrome. Also known as familial dysautonomia, this is a disorder of the automatic nervous system that renders the sufferer insensitive to pain, and sometimes unable to produce tears. Riley-Day Syndrome is believed to be hereditary in nature and, just like Down’s Syndrome, is caused by genetic aberration.
There is currently no cure for this disorder and death occurs in 50% of the individuals affected by this by age 30. But the survival rate and quality of life have been improving, since more studies and greater efforts towards understanding have been undertaken.
Know of others who suffer from these? Share with us your experience below!