Pregnant men and stink fish - quirky diseases
Some diseases are so strange that they sound like invented. But they really do exist: men who suffer from the symptoms of pregnancy, women who believe that their spouse has been replaced by a doppelganger, people who have sexual intercourse during sleep and do not remember it afterwards and those who are disturbed and amputate healthy parts of their bodies .
The bizarre psychiatric disorders are accompanied by diseases of the body that could come directly from a fantasy horror film: people whose bodies harden like those of a statue, patients who decompose alive and unfortunate ones who smell like a putrid fish. We show an overview of some of the most bizarre diseases:
Couvade syndrome - when men feel pregnant
Men with back pain, baby bump, cravings, mood highs and lows like their pregnant partner? This disorder is called Couvade syndrome. Those affected actually grow their bellies, have to vomit or start crying.
According to psychology, men develop such sham pregnancies out of solidarity. Some researchers also suspect childbearing envy as a trigger for this behavior. Those affected would not accept that they could not have children and at least imitate the complaints.
The mirror neurons come into effect neurologically. These nerve cells trigger the same actions in the person concerned that he was just observing. A person suffering from Couvade syndrome thus sees his wife's complaints and his nervous system transmits the same sensations to his own body.
Restless genital syndrome
Affected people constantly scratch the genitals. Skinny jeans, underpants, sitting on a chair, even a gust of wind from the front trigger a strong itch. But it is by no means arousal. Men do not experience an erection and women do not get wet.
Doctors found this disorder most often in postmenopausal women. Most of them had previously suffered from restless leg syndrome.
A doctor in Bern reports about an interesting antidote: orgasm. In a 50-year-old patient, the symptoms subsided considerably when she reached orgasm during sex.
The number of unreported cases for this syndrome is probably very high because many people are ashamed to go to the doctor.
It is believed to be a genital nerve disorder within polyneuropathy. The reason for such neuropathy is that many sufferers previously had similar pain in other parts of the body.
Anti-epileptics, opiates and anti-depressants are used as medication for the symptoms.
American psychiatrists describe Truman syndrome as a delusion in which those affected think that their entire lives are a television show. It takes its name from "The Truman Show" from 1998, a film in which the main character Truman Burbank is, without his knowledge, the main actor in a series that has been broadcasting his life on television since his birth.
However, those affected do not suffer from excessive narcissism, so that they think they are a terrific film star, but from supposedly no privacy. They think all of their contacts and relationships are part of a script and every move they make is recorded.
New York psychiatrist Joel Gold reported a man who said he had to climb the Statue of Liberty - only then would the television show be over. He even considered the psychiatrist to be an actor.
Capgras syndrome is named after the French psychiatrist who discovered it. Affected people believe that spouses, relatives or friends have been replaced by doppelgangers. This delusion belongs to the schizophrenic form, but also occurs in people with dementia, and rarely in epileptics or people with brain damage.
It is treated like these psychiatric complaints, especially with antipsychotic medication. In the case of dementia, however, cognitive therapies make more sense, since the idea for them comes primarily from general confusion.
People affected by this disorder perceive their social environment in exactly the opposite way to Capgras patients. Leopoldo Fregoli was an Italian actor and famous for his rapidly changing roles.
Those affected believe that close people have optically changed and appear as strangers. They believe that a person could take the form of another person and thus mask himself. People with epilepsy, dementia or schizophrenia are also affected.
Cotard syndrome takes its name from Jules Cotard, a French doctor who diagnosed it in 1880. The victims believe that they are dead, decayed, have lost blood or internal organs.
Depressed people with psychotic flare-ups and schizophrenia patients most often develop this disorder.
With this neurological disorder, those affected believe that places or objects would exist in different places at the same time. In contrast to Capgras syndrome, you do not see this change in humans.
Alien hand syndrome
With alien hand syndrome, those affected can no longer control one hand at will. They feel their hand normally, but feel it as a part of the body that acts autonomously.
Those affected are fully conscious, can use the unaffected hand at will, but the disturbed hand is unpredictable. This disorder arises from a stroke or other brain damage.
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
Affected people see their environment like Alice the Wonderland: things and people appear larger or smaller than they usually are, speeds appear slower and faster. Those affected are confused because the size and shape of individual parts of their own body change in perception.
Those affected are not mentally ill and usually know that they are hallucinations. They often feel strange and suffer from panic attacks.
The disorder often occurs with migraines, brain tumors or psychoactive substances like LSD. The best therapy is rest. Those affected best avoid all stimuli, lie down and close their eyes.
Anticonvulsants, antidepressants, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers help in severe cases.
People affected by this disorder develop delusions about the visit to the city of Jerusalem.
Those affected already suffer from clinical mental disorders, and when they are in Jerusalem, psychoses break out.
The Paris syndrome
Paris syndrome affects Japanese tourists. You experience a psychotic form of culture shock in Paris. They get extreme fears, no longer perceive their personality, develop conspiracy fantasies and hallucinations.
Out of approximately 6 million Japanese tourists who visit Paris annually, about 20 develop this disorder. Otherwise they are psychologically normal.
Those affected by Stendhal syndrome develop extreme fears, they are confused and lose their sense of space and time, and some are even plagued by hallucinations. The triggers are works of art that those affected find particularly beautiful, or that can often be seen in one place, such as in the Vatican Museums or the Louvre. It usually regulates itself and does not require any medication.
People affected by this syndrome recall the popular notion of messies. They lose their sense of shame, neglect themselves, withdraw, become apathetic and compulsively collect garbage. The namesake was the Greek philosopher Diogenes von Sinope (412 to 323) BC. BC who despised wealth, power, health and fame and lived free of possessions. He allegedly lived in a wine barrel on the streets of Athens. The syndrome does not do justice to the philosopher; he neither neglected his hygiene nor lived in the garbage. The disorder mainly affects older people with progressive dementia.
Apotemnophilia - The desire to mutilate
Those who suffer from this disorder do not perceive their bodies as one, and body parts disturb them so that they want to separate them. The cause is probably a nerve disorder. Occasionally, those affected amputate their own extremities: fingers, toes or entire hands.
Surgeons naturally refuse to amputate healthy limbs, and those affected then damage themselves in such a way that the doctor has no other way out - for example due to the risk of blood poisoning. The patients find the amputation to be a relief.
The right side of the brain is damaged in those affected. Therapy is very difficult because those affected have no insight into their illness. They often meet arotomophiles, sexual fetishists who are aroused by people with amputations.
Pap syndrome - the listless
If you suffer from Pap syndrome, you cannot choose an action - in a pathological sense. He doesn't eat anything unless you remind him of it and sit at the table. He feels hungry, but he cannot make up his mind, even if the indecision costs his life.
Those affected have to make notes so that they can take a shower, brush their teeth, comb their hair or do some shopping. It's not forgetfulness.
It is typical that those affected do not get bored despite doing nothing. They are disturbed by the baslaganglien, the switching points in the brain that transmit the emotional impulses of the limbic system to the frontal lobe. The information no longer reaches the area where the conscious decisions take place.
Psychiatrists are fascinated by the syndrome because it can reveal a lot about how human will is created.
Kufungisa - Too much thinking makes you sick
The Shona in Zimbobwe know Kufunisisa. That means "thinking too much". Those who suffer from it develop anxiety disorders and depression. He ponders so much that he feels worse and can hardly do anything about this thinking.
Cognitive behavioral therapies promise success to relieve compulsive thinking, but also common treatments for anxiety disorders and depression.
Clinical Lycanthropy - The Werewolf Disorder
Clinical lycanthropes suffer from the delusion of turning into a wolf. The best-known example is the Spanish serial killer Romasanta, who was on trial in 1854 for murdering 13 people.
He believed that the devil had cursed him to periodically turn into a wolf and kill people. The court psychiatrist diganostated pathological lycanthropy and Romasanta was not executed, but spent the rest of his life in an asylum.
The term is derived from King Lykaon of Arcadia, who brought human flesh as a meal to the god Zeus and which the father of the gods therefore turned into a wolf.
Pathological lycanthropy is one of the delusional misidentifications and therefore mostly occurs in the schizophrenic form, with manic-depressive psychoses, borderline syndrome, dissociative disorders or psychoses due to medication or drugs.
Sex in your sleep
Some people not only dream of sex in their sleep, but have sex while they are in the deep sleep phase. We then speak of sex Somnia. It is an inorganic sleep disorder.
Those affected appear awake, masturbate or perform sexual acts with those present, but they do not become conscious from non-REM sleep. Most of the time they don't remember their actions when they wake up.
Men show this behavior three times as often. Violent acts often occur during sleep sex, and sufferers fear to be considered simulants if they say they cannot remember what they did.
Those affected use erotic language and masturbate in their sleep - when they wake up, they are often still sexually aroused. People with restless legs syndrome or a strong urge to sleep often suffer from this disorder.
One of the worst diseases is necrotic fascitis. The body rots while alive.
Streptococci, carnivorous bacteria are to blame. They penetrate the skin through wounds, multiply there and release toxins and enzymes. Dark bubbles appear on the outside. The meat decomposes.
The poisons can cause septic shock. Then the kidneys fail, the breath stops and the heart stops working.
The best thing is to cut out the infected tissue completely. At first, the bacteria can still be treated with antibiotics, but the first stage is similar to the flu, so we usually do not recognize the danger.
By drinking in a coma
If you drink too little, you strain your body. But if you drink too much water, you can fall into a coma. This condition is called hyponatremia. The reason is an imbalance between water and sodium.
When we sweat, we lose water as much as sodium. If we only consume water now, the blood will lack sodium. The body cannot distribute the water and swells up. The brain swells - it starts with a headache, and after less than an hour we can fall into a coma.
We can counteract such a sodium deficiency simply by eating saline foods such as chips, salted peanuts or pickled herring.
Sclerodemic - the statue sickness
Those who suffer from this disorder freeze. The skin hardens in such a way that those affected can hardly move and remain like a statue in the same pose. The cause is a disease of the autoimmune system.
The weakened body deposits its excess collagen everywhere. After years, the skin hardens like the internal organs. 10,000 people die of the sclerodemic every year.
Fish smell disease
Those who suffer from trimethylaminuria do not die of it, but their social contacts suffer considerable damage. Those affected smell of putrid fish - from the mouth, in sweat and in the urine. They lack an enzyme that breaks down trimethylamine, the substance that makes fish stink.
Our body produces this intensely smelling substance, for example, when we use eggs, liver or soybeans. It is a genetic mutation. Therefore, medication does not help. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)