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The 12 strangest mental hallucinations

The 12 strangest mental hallucinations

The psychological disorders, and more specifically delusions, we can find them of many types and duration, from transient episodes, to full-fledged and incurable mental illnesses. But everyone has one thing in common: they separate the individual from reality. Hallucinations do not listen to reason and are not based on real events.

The twelve of the strangest delusional beliefs ...

1. Alice's syndrome in Wonderland

With the name of Lewis Carroll's novel, this hallucination affects the perception of space and time. The person affected by this curious syndrome can see some objects smaller than they really are and others larger than what we see others. They may also have difficulty assessing time. Contrary to what is usually believed, it is a relatively common delirium, not necessarily associated with mental illness, people sometimes say they have experienced this as children or even just before falling asleep. Often, however, delirium is caused by migraine, which Lewis Carroll suffered throughout his life and may have been the source of inspiration for the mythical story.

2. Cotard syndrome

This syndrome occurs when the person believes that she is dead, that she does not exist or that she has lost her internal organs. Usually people with Cotard will deny that they exist; Naturally, this means that they find it very difficult to make sense of reality. People with Cotard they tend to be very isolated from others and do not tend to take care of themselves correctly (since being dead, they do not need, of course). Hallucination is often suffered by people suffering from schizophrenia.

3. The delirium of Capgras

It is believed that neurologically it is very similar to Cotard syndrome, but in this case the person believes that he has been replaced by an impostor that is identical to him or her, and that is why he is not the same person. The name comes from the French doctor Joseph Capgras, who described for the first time. The delirium of Capgras It is mainly associated with schizophrenia, but this hallucination can also be the result of brain damage or dementia.

4. The delirium "Folie à deux"

One of the strangest and most curious delusions is the "Folie à deux" which literally means "madness shared by two". It is also known by the technical name of "shared psychotic disorder." It is when two (or more) people who (usually) live in close proximity come to share the same illusion.

5. The thought of insertion

The thought of insertion is the illusion that our own thoughts are not really ours. The person believes that his thoughts come from another individual, although sometimes he does not even "know" where his thoughts are coming from. The illusion of thought insertion is often a symptom of schizophrenia.

6. Paris syndrome

Paris syndrome is a transitory experience that affects tourists traveling to Paris and who find that the City of Light does not live up to their expectations. They may experience hallucinations, delusions of persecution, anxiety and other somatic symptoms. Paris syndrome may sound like a joke, but about twenty Japanese tourists a year are believed to be hospitalized because of them. Some think it is caused by the culture shock, since the Japanese have a particularly idealized view of Paris. The usual treatment for Paris syndrome is to go home.

7. Jerusalem syndrome

But Paris does not have a monopoly on the delusions produced to its tourists. Some visitors from Jerusalem have also been described who may become obsessed with the city after arriving. Those who experience the syndrome may suffer from anxiety, start wearing a robe, start singing hymns or shouting Bible verses. Some even start giving sermons poorly practiced in public. According to calculations, the number of people requiring hospital admission for this syndrome at around 40 per year. As with Paris syndrome, the usual treatment is to go home.

8. Othello syndrome

This syndrome is based on someone's belief that their partner is cheating on them with another, even though there is no evidence. It is much stronger than jealousy (something more common and ordinary), because these people experience strong obsessive thoughts. They can easily continuously spy on their partner, stalk her, interrogate her about where they have been and, in extreme cases, they can reach violence.

9. Ekbom syndrome

Ekbom syndrome is a source of nightmares. In this particularly disgusting form of hypochondria, the victim thinks that his body has been infested by parasites. It is not uncommon for patients to come into contact with pest control specialists or dermatologists, rather than psychologists or psychiatrists. It is named after a Swedish neurologist Karl Axel Ekbom, who wrote about it in the 1930s.

10. Clinical lycanthropy

Clinical lycanthropy is the belief that the person has that he is in the process of becoming an animal. And it doesn't have to be a wolf in what they think they become, there can also be many other animals. Cases have been described that believe they were becoming frogs, cats, horses, birds, hyenas and even bees. Luckily, they are very rare hallucinations.

11. The reduplicative paramnesia

This hallucination is usually caused by brain damage. In this delirium the person believes that a place or location has been duplicated and / or moved to another place. It has been observed that some soldiers with head injuries believed that the hospital where they were recovering was actually in their hometown, when in fact it was not. They were not able to rectify their belief even if they were repeatedly informed. This syndrome shares some characteristics with the Cotard or Capgras, in which people, places or things have been replaced or transformed in some way.

12. The subjective double syndrome

In this delirium the person really believes that they have a double that looks like her, but that has a different personality and a different life. Sometimes, double can be a stranger, but sometimes it can be a family member. In some cases, patients can get very angry with someone because they perceive that their appearance has been stolen, and this can even lead them to psychological and physical attacks. The syndrome is more common in people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, although fortunately it is very rare.