Yet Another 10 Bizarre Mental Disorders
The human mind is a fascinating thing – and a great source for lists on the bizarre! For those who don’t know, we have three previously published lists of disorders. So before reading this one, you should check them out! I should also mention that this list was inspired by a list of potential topics sent in by Mon.
Zoosadism is a term coined by Ernest Borneman referring to pleasure (sometimes sexual pleasure) derived from cruelty to animals. Zoosadism is part of the Macdonald triad, a set of three behaviors that are a precursor to sociopathic behavior – so next time you see a kid being cruel to an animal, remember that he is a potential future serial killer! In general, the link between sadistic sexual acts with animals and sadistic practices with humans or lust murders has been heavily researched. Some murderers tortured animals in their childhood, with some of them also practicing bestiality. One study found that 36% of sexual murderers described themselves as having abused animals during childhood, with 46% of them reporting that they had abused animals during adolescence, and that eight of their sample of thirty-six sexual murderers showed an interest in zoosexual acts.
Schizotypal personality disorder is a personality disorder that is characterized by a need for social isolation, odd behavior and thinking, and often unconventional beliefs. Some of the symptoms of the disorder are:
1. Odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (e.g., superstitiousness, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations)
2. Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation
3. Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar (that sounds like half of listverse to me!)
4. Obsessive thoughts containing excessive aggression or sexual contents
There is not a great deal of information about for this disorder, but I can assure you – it is weird! A person who suffers from autassassinophilia needs to put himself into a position of danger in order to become sexually aroused. The unfortunate upshot to this disorder, is that it is not entirely uncommon for the sufferer to die in the process!
Folie à deux (from the French for “a madness shared by two”) is a rare psychiatric syndrome in which a symptom of psychosis is transmitted from one person to another. The same syndrome shared by more than two people may be called folie à trois, folie à quatre, folie en famille (family madness) or even folie à plusieurs (“madness of many”). Here is a rather bizarre case study of a couple suffering from this disorder: Margaret and her husband Michael, both aged 34 years, were discovered to be suffering from folie à deux when they were both found to be sharing similar persecutory delusions. They believed that certain persons were entering their house, spreading dust and fluff and “wearing down their shoes”. Both had, in addition, other symptoms supporting a diagnosis of paranoid psychosis, which could be made independently in either case. This disorder usually happens with people living in close proximity to one another – such as husbands and wives.
Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP) is a disorder in which a person deliberately causes injury or illness to another person (most often his or her child) usually to gain attention or some other benefit. Münchausen by proxy has been described by some as a form of extended child abuse. The motivation is to assume the sick role by proxy. It involves physical abuse and medical neglect. The caregiver is usually a parent, guardian, or spouse, and the victim is usually a child or vulnerable adult. Most cases involve inducing physical illness; however, it is also possible for a perpetrator to simulate or fabricate conditions that appear to be psychiatric or genetic problems. This disorder can lead to the tragic death of the child.
Hybristophilia is a paraphilia involving being sexually aroused or attracted to people who have committed an outrage or a gruesome crime. In popular culture, this phenomenon is also known as “Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome”. Many high-profile criminals, particularly those who have committed atrocious crimes, receive “fan mail” in prison which is sometimes amorous or sexual, presumably as a result of this phenomenon. In some cases, admirers of these criminals have gone on to marry the object of their affections in prison. Just weird. Pictured above is Carol Anne Boone who married Ted Bundy.
Vaginismus is a condition which affects a woman’s ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration, including sexual intercourse, insertion of tampons, and the penetration involved in gynecological examinations. This is the result of a conditioned reflex of the pubococcygeus muscle, which is sometimes referred to as the “PC muscle”. The reflex causes the muscles in the vagina to tense suddenly, which makes any kind of vaginal penetration—including sexual intercourse—either painful or impossible. This disorder illustrates the power of the mind over the body as it is psychological and normally treated with therapy. The three most common contributing factors to vaginismus are fear of painful sex; the belief that sex is wrong or shameful (often the case with patients who had a strict religious upbringing); and traumatic early childhood experiences (not necessarily sexual in nature).
An obscene phone call is an unsolicited telephone call where the caller receives sexual pleasure by delivering sexual or foul language to an unknown called party. Making obscene telephone calls for sexual pleasure is known as telephone scatalogia (or telephonicophilia) and is theorized as a form of exhibitionism. It is usually classed as a paraphilia from a medical viewpoint, in the DSM under the heading “Paraphilias Not Otherwise Specified”, although from the viewpoint of the recipient of the calls, it is generally considered to be both a form of sexual harassment and a form of stalking. In some US states, making obscene telephone calls is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
Frotteurism refers to a paraphilic interest in rubbing, usually one’s pelvis or erect penis, against a non-consenting person for sexual gratification. It may involve touching any part of the body including the genital area. A person who practices frotteurism is known as a frotteur. The majority of frotteurs are male and the majority of victims are female, although female on male, female on female, and male on male frotteurs exist. Adult on child frotteurism can be an early stage in child sexual abuse. This activity is often done in circumstances where the victim cannot easily respond, in a public place such as a crowded train or concert.
Derealization is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems strange or unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one’s environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional coloring and depth. Individuals who suffer from derealization may complain that what they see lacks vividness and emotional coloring. Emotional response to visual recognition of loved ones may be significantly reduced. Feelings of déjà vu or jamais vu are common. Familiar places may look alien, bizarre, and surreal. The world as perceived by the individual may feel like it is going through a dolly zoom effect. Such perceptual abnormalities may also extend to the senses of hearing, taste, and smell.
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