Bizzare Brains: The Weird Disorders- Part 2.

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The first part of ‘Bizarre Brains’ contained seven of the weirdest mental disorders. The following six disorders are slightly more gory and morbid. Proceed with caution, the brain is a dangerous place.

1. Cotard Delusion


“I’m a dead man.”
How often do you say this during the day? Thankfully we don’t mean it literally, the people who Cotard Syndrome actually do believe that they’re being absolutely literal when they say this. They believe that they are dead, non-existent or that all their organs have been removed from their bodies.
It was named after Jules Cotard, a French neurologist who discovered this. This nihilistic delusion is most frequently observed in patients with psychotic depression or schizophrenias and is managed by focusing on the treatment of the underlying disorder
This is also called the ‘Walking Corpse’ syndrome. The person looking in the mirror does not recognise his own self and begins distancing himself from the reality and emotions because he believes that he has passed away.

2. Capgras syndrome


The people with this syndrome believe that a relative or friend has been replaced with a stranger, imposter or a duplicate of some sort. These people live under continuous anxiety and panic as is common when someone believes that he is living with a stranger. This is common among people with with paranoid schizophrenia, but has also been seen in patients suffering from brain injury and dementia. It presents often in individuals with a neuro-degenerative disease, particularly at an older age. It was named after a French psychiatrist who described the illusion of doubles.

Capgras and Cotard Syndrome seem related because both seem to signify a disconnect between the area of the brain that recognizes faces, and the area of the brain that is able to associate emotions with that very recognition.

3. Windigo Psychosis


If you remember the second episode from Season 1 of Supernatural, you’ll remember what a windigo is. In Algonquin mythology, A wendigo (or windigo) is a demonic spirit that possesses a human body and is known for it’s cannibalistic nature, they are anything but human. Strangely enough, certain people with this disorder actually have an insatiable craving for human flesh and a paranoia of turning into a cannibal. The craving is not just a mental sensation, it causes actual hunger.

So an association of Cotard syndrome and Windigo Psychosis basically leads to the formation of zombies with a conscience.

4. Autophagia


This one is pretty gross so if you have a weak stomach, skip this. The people suffering from this syndrome eat themselves or parts of themselves by biting or chewing impulsively. A person started out with simply biting on his nails and ended up with severely mutilated fingers. This is not really a mental disorder. It is classified under impulse-control disorders. These impulsive control disorders are the ones which involves an inability to suppresses a strong urge or an impulse to perform an action that may be harmful to one’s own self or others.
The person experiences a sense of tension or arousal before performing the act and gains a relief or satisfaction once it is done. Afterwards, he may not experience guilt or regret or any sort. Like all other disorders, this can become life threatening.

5. Apotemnophilia and Acrotomophilia

Christian Camargo

People with apotemnophilia have an overwhelming urge to amputate certain parts of their bodies. This is a kind of body integrity identity disorder where the person wishes to change the integrity of his body. They often try to get their limbs amputated but since there are a very few doctors who would agree to sever a healthy limb, they often try to get rid of this limb on their own. In this process the limb is severely mutilated and requires medical help. After it is properly amputated, the people claim to be happier and quite paradoxically, complete.
“Apotemnophilia is hypothesized to be related to right parietal lobe damage because the disorder has features in common with somatoparaphrenia, a type of monothematic delusion secondary to parietal lobe injury where the afflicted person denies ownership of a limb or an entire side of one’s body.”
The main problem with this disorder is that the people who have it do not seek treatment.

Acrotomophilia is a form of sexual fetishism where a non-amputee or a person who strongly wishes to be amputated has a strong sexual attraction towards people who have been amputated. They are known as ‘devotees’ in body integrity disorder communities. There may be a connection in between there two disorders. The Ice Truck Killer from Dexter had this fetish.

6. Aboulomania

This is not exactly morbid but I think we all experience milder forms of this disorder. This very rare condition involves the crippling fear of indecision. The aboulomaniacs struggle to retain their normal functions when they are faced with any sort of decision making, not matter how insignificant it is.
It’s very difficult for them to get through the day without panicking because simple everyday activities baffle them. Should I or should I not take the dog out for a walk? Questions as easy as these can give them a panic attack. Often they know what they want but cannot make that choice and they are trapped in a unsatiated condition, unable to satisfy their own will.
These disorders may seem unearthly but they do exist and you can clearly imagine how nightmarish these can be. Sadly nothing much about these disorders is known, except their symptoms. Without having a clear idea of what causes these, no cure can be designed.