Nature in general, and when it comes to our own psyche in particular, is very crafty in creating states we know little about. Mental disorders are one such example.

A lot of psychiatric syndromes have been studied and named in honor of famous writers, artists, book characters, psychiatrists, and other individuals.

This article presents 15 interesting psychiatric syndromes, and this information shows what weird symptoms our minds and bodies are capable of.

15 Unbelievable Psychiatric Syndromes You Didn’t Know About

1. Stendhal Syndrome

Stendhal Syndrome involves dizziness, fainting, heart palpitations, and sometimes hallucinations when an individual is surrounded by fine artwork or incredibly beautiful scenery.

The name of the syndrome is based on one of the books by the French writer Stendhal, in which he described his emotions while visiting Florence:

“When I left the Church of the Holy Cross, my heart was pounding, I thought that life had slowly drained out, I walked captivated by the fear to fall…

I had seen masterpieces born by the energy of passion, when everything else becomes meaningless, unimportant, limited, just as when the wind of passion stops pushing on the sails, which move the human soul, then it becomes devoid of passion and, therefore, its vices and virtues”.

2. Van Gogh syndrome

I bet you are thinking about the artist’s ear? And you are almost correct. This psychiatric syndrome manifests when a patient insists on having surgery, or even (this is really scary to consider) attempts to perform it on themselves.

3. Jerusalem Syndrome

This kind of megalomania, which occurs only in Jerusalem. A tourist, who arrived in the ancient city for religious purposes, or on pilgrimage, suddenly decides that he or she is endowed with divine and prophetic abilities.

He or she is the one who has to save the world. One of the most remarkable of the symptoms is that the sufferer’s speech and gestures become overly dramatic. This syndrome is considered psychosis and requires involuntary hospitalization.

4. Paris Syndrome

Another trick of an unstable nervous system is also played out in a special place. It most commonly affects calm and polite Japanese tourists. They go to the proverbial land of dreams, shrouded in an aura of romance and street cafes, but end up in quite a dangerous city where no one really wants to pamper them, people are rude, and there is a lot of street crime.

Because of this, about 20 Japanese a year suffer from acute delirious thinking, feel being stalked, detached from reality, or their own personality, experience anxiety, and other mental issues. The best way to treat Paris syndrome is to immediately send the sufferer home.

5. Genovese Syndrome

Also known as the “bystander effect“. People who witnessed extraordinary circumstances often try to stay away from helping the victims. The likelihood that any of the witnesses will help the victim decreases as more people will just stand there and watch.

One of the main ways to cope with this effect and get help is to pick a person randomly from the crowd and personally asking them for help.

6. Adele syndrome

This is a consuming love obsession or longing for love and romance, hurtful passion without reciprocity. This syndrome got its name because of a real story that happened to the daughter of Victor Hugo, Adele.

Adele met an English lieutenant Albert Pinson and immediately decided that he was the man of her life. We cannot say for sure whether he was a heartless scoundrel who betrayed her feelings or a victim of her erotic inclinations.

In either case, Pinson did not reciprocate regardless of her beauty or her father’s fame. Adele chased him around the world, lied to everyone that they had been already married, and in the end became completely insane.

7. Munchausen syndrome

This is a kind of hypochondria when a person experiences various pains and aches and nothing helps, but it is only an illusion. It is a psychiatric syndrome when the sufferer pretends to be experiencing, exaggerates, or knowingly creates the symptoms of a disease to undergo a medical examination, treatment, hospitalization, and so on.

The most widely accepted explanation for Munchausen syndrome states that the simulation of the disease is a way to get attention, care, affection, and emotional support.

8. Stockholm Syndrome

From Hollywood films, we know that Stockholm Syndrome is a situation in which a hostage begins to understand the perpetrator, and even sympathize with them and provide various forms of assistance.

However, it is not a psychological paradox or a mental disorder but rather a normal reaction of our psyche. Moreover, it is a very rare situation, happening in about 8% of the cases related to hostage-taking.

9. Diogenes syndrome

Diogenes is famous for deciding to live in a barrel and having an isolated, ascetic lifestyle. This psychiatric syndrome is named after him (and is also referred to as a senile squalor syndrome) and manifests itself more or less resembling this situation.

It involves an extremely dismissive attitude toward oneself, isolation from society, apathy, hoarding, and the absence of shame.

10. Dorian Gray Syndrome

It can be said that this syndrome is experienced by those who try to remain young a little too much, devoting a lot of time and energy to looking young and beautiful at any cost.

It manifests itself when someone uses items and wears clothes intended for the younger generation and can lead to abusing plastic surgery and cosmetic products. Sometimes this disorder ends with depression and even suicide attempts.

11. Cotard’s syndrome

If you meet someone who suddenly starts to complain that they have rotten guts or no heart, it could be a case of Cotard’s syndrome. The sufferer may also claim that they cannot ever sleep and have nihilistic-depressive or hypochondriac delusions, combined with the ideas of self-importance or greatness unprecedented in the history of mankind.

They may believe that he or she is an offender who had infected countless partners with syphilis or AIDS, poisoned the whole world with the fetid breath. The sufferer may claim with drama that he or she would soon have to pay for what he or she has done, and all the pain in the world will seem nonsense compared to the suffering that he or she is about to face as a punishment.

All these weird claims and symptoms are typical of Cotard’s syndrome.

12. Kandinsky-Clérambault Syndrome

It is another syndrome in psychiatry, also known as the syndrome of the psychic automatism. Something related to “I see little green men telling me what to do” or “My legs direct me where I need to go, I have no control over them”.

13. Tourette’s syndrome

Often referred to as “coprolalia“, an abnormal and irresistible urge to shout out obscene words, although this is only one side of Tourette’s syndrome, which is often used in movies. Interestingly, the word “coprolalia” can be translated from Greek as “verbal diarrhea“.

14. Alien hand syndrome

If you watched the last part of “Harry Potter”, you will remember how Peter Pettigrew was strangled by his own hand. In many other films and cartoons, something similar also happens, but this neurological syndrome is not a work of fiction writers. The alien hand syndrome does exist, and is complex and not a treatable disorder. Usually, it goes away on its own.

Which of the above psychiatric syndromes do you find the weirdest and why?

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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