10 Unusual disorders you’ve never heard of

Illustration  (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Illustration (PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Most kids would love the idea of being like Alice in Wonderland – slipping down a rabbit hole into a mystical world.

But could it ever happen? It seems so. Abigail Moss (5) of the UK suffered hallucinations where she believed objects were shrinking and expanding right in front her eyes just like in the famous Lewis Carroll book where Alice drinks a potion to become smaller.

It’s called Alice in Wonderland Syndrome and apparently it’s a real thing. Abigail, who’s now 24, doesn’t suffer from the hallucinations as often as she did when she was a kid.

She was diagnosed with the disease only after her parents watched an episode of Hugh Laurie series House, where one of Dr Gregory House’s patients had the same symptoms.

Still, this isn’t the only strange disorder, believe it or not. We took a look at 10 other weird ones.

Cotard’s Syndrome or Walking Corpse Syndrome

This takes “I wish I were dead” to a whole new level. This disorder makes the individual feel as if they are well and truly deceased. It’s believed to be related to Capgras’ Syndrome (a disorder in which the sufferer holds the honest belief that someone in their life has been replaced with an imposter or a duplicate of some sort).

Body Identity Integrity Disorder

A sufferer of this disorder has an overwhelming feeling that they’d be better off an amputee and have an urge to remove one or more of their limbs.

Stendhal Syndrome

This psychosomatic illness occurs when someone is exposed to a large amount of beautiful art in a short space of time. The symptoms include: rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations. It’s apparently quite common amongst tourists. Who knew?


This happens when you confuse your senses. Your neural wires are crossed so you may find that you may see sounds and taste smells. One form of synthesia for example: if we had to write out the word yellow in pink crayon, you brain may confuse the colour with the word and may end up saying pink when you read it.

This is one of the disorders you don’t need to be too concerned about and written of as normal.

Foreign Accent Syndrome

This strange disorder could easily occur after a severe brain injury or stroke. As the name suggests, the individual begins speaking in a new accent so convincingly, you’d swear they were from that specific country.

Paris Syndrome

This is perhaps one of the most bizarre, mainly because it has nothing to do with neurological problems. Symptoms range from delusions and hallucination to feelings of being hunted.

For some reason, Japanese tourists are the most susceptible. Apparently they suffer from extreme culture shock brought on by their romantic expectations of the city versus the reality.

Windigo Psychosis

This disorder is described as having an insatiable craving for human flesh coupled with the fear of becoming a cannibal. Sounds like cannibalism with a conscience to me.

Genital Retraction Syndrome

Those suffering this believe their external genitals are actually shrinking and about to disappear into their bodies.  It’s a culture-specific disorder and referred to as Koro to people of Asian descent – they believe the shrinkage will end in death.


We’ve all said this before. Something makes you so mad; you could “just pull out your hair”. This disorder urges the sufferer to pull out their hair. And not just from the top of their head . . .


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