Alice In Wonderland Syndrome And Other Mental Disorders

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Some mental disorders may seem pretty common, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, phobias, and the like. But you may not yet have heard about the more complicated and rare conditions one could suffer from. Most of the time, we see odd representations of psychological conditions in film or in books, which means most of them appear only in the fictional world. In reality, there are really peculiar psychological disorders that might even make you question your own sanity.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Even if you’re not a fiction fan, Alice has been widely known on different platforms – from children’s books, to young adult novels, to animations, up to reimagined live-action films. Alice in Wonderland is a classic tale that continues to be reimagined. In other words, her character still lives on today. But what else lives alongside her legend?

In real life, there are actual people who experience such adventures in their minds. But no, they aren’t dreaming. These people are known to suffer from the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS) a.k.a Todd syndrome, wherein people perceive their surroundings as distorted, seeing objects in odd sizes just how Alice saw things in the story. Also, they hear sounds that are louder or softer than usual, characterizing the changing perspectives. According to medical website WebMD, episodes of AIWS include straight lines appearing as wavy, things seeming to be in motion, 3D objects becoming flat, and people or objects appearing stretched out.

Capgras Delusion

Over the years, the entertainment industry has been filled with numerous conspiracies about famous personalities. Some of which are quite absurd and delusional, like accusing celebrities of being replaced by imposters. However, in real life, there are actual people who firmly believe that people, things, or places around them are being replaced. This psychological condition is called “imposter syndrome” or “Capgras Delusion.” Medical website Healthline reported that people who experience this syndrome often have an illogical belief that “someone they know or recognize has been replaced by an imposter.” They accuse some people, their spouses, for instance, of being imposters. Capgras delusion usually affects women, but can also affect children in some rare cases.

Cotard Delusion

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Thanks to The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies, and other zombie films, zombies are now an all-time fantasy favorite. But the spotlight shining on the zombie trend has nothing to do with the existence of the walking dead syndrome or the “cotard delusion.’ Cotard delusion, according to Healthline, is a rare psychological condition characterized by a false belief that one’s body is dead, putrefying, or doesn’t exist at all. Usually, this syndrome is accompanied by severe depression and other mental illnesses.

Nihilism is one of the symptoms of this syndrome, believing that one has no value or meaning. Some people suffering from the delusion also feel as if their body is rotting away. Cotard delusion is a rare psychological syndrome. As reported by the Online Psychology Degree Guide, a website that provides information about online psychology classes, the most well-known case of this delusion occurred in Haiti, where a man believed that he died of AIDS and was in hell.

Dissociative Identity Syndrome

In movies today, it is no more unlikely to witness peculiar stories featuring a person whose identities switch into multiple ones. Many films and books have already been produced and published about people with multiple personality disorder or what they call today as Dissociative Identity Syndrome (DIS). Most of us have already experience spacing out of reality and losing a sense of and connection with our own thoughts and feelings. DIS, however, is a severe form of dissociation of one’s mental processes. As reported by WebMD, people who suffer from DIS experience disconnection among their thoughts, feelings, actions, and even their own sense of identity. This disorder is believed to be triggered by traumatic experiences and is often used as a coping mechanism wherein a person literally “dissociates” himself from a traumatic past situation.

Kluver-Bucy Syndrome

One of the rarest syndromes on this list is the Kluver-Bucy syndrome. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, this syndrome is a rare disease that affects both males and females by damaging both temporal lobes resulting in malfunctions and abnormalities in one’s memory, sexual functioning, social interaction, and idiosyncratic behaviors. This disease is often characterized by the extreme fetish of putting objects inside the mouth, emotional changes, memory loss, strange sexual behaviors, and more. People affected can sometimes get sexually attracted to inanimate objects or get a serious desire to eat inedible things. Kluver-Bucy Syndrome does not have a cure yet, and most sufferers are affected for life.

The world of psychology is seriously vast and encompasses a lot of different things. Serious and rare mental disorders are just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many more to discover beyond that line. People with psychological conditions are often laughed at, but what they really need is to be understood and given the right care and social acceptance that they need and deserve.

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