The human brain is quite a wacky thing sometimes. Some people can remember everything they've ever seen or heard, some people can do incredibly complex math equations, and some people can probably understand why Uwe Boll
keeps making movies. And that's a properly functioning brain. But when things start going wrong, they can go wrong in some really bizarre ways. Like these.
Though a fairly new condition, Paris Syndrome
is what happens when tourists, usually Japanese, are confronted with the horrifying reality of Paris and it breaks their brains. Sufferers face delusions, feelings of persecution, hallucinations, anxiety and even physical manifestations of their issues such as sweating, dizziness and tachycardia.
What causes Paris Syndrome
? The French. It's speculated that the stark contrast in cultures from Japan to France is too much for some to bear. This, combined with language barriers and the utter smashing of the tourists' idealized view of Paris, which is probably very romantic and inspired by film and not at all like the heavily trafficked and somewhat filthy city it actually is.
Foreign Accent Syndrome
The best mental illnesses are the ones that are inexplicably preposterous, and foreign accent syndrome
takes the cake in that regard. Usually caused by some kind of brain injury, this rare disorder makes you speak with an accent. The name's really descriptive that way.
Technically speaking, it's not so much that people with the condition have an accent, it's that their brain has malfunctioned in such a way that they are no longer able to properly pronounce words the way they used to and this can give the impression of an accent. This also gives weight to the theory that people with heavy accents are mentally ill.
Genital Retraction Syndrome
You don't really have to know the specifics of what this condition does
to know you don't want it. Often found in cultures that have strong beliefs in witchcraft and the occult, genital retraction syndrome is basically the belief that your bits and pieces are either being reeled back into your body or are just going to up and vanish one day. The condition can also be found in women and usually relates to the breasts.
The Wikipedia entry on this subject
is so awesome it actually uses the term "penis panic," as apparently outbreaks of this syndrome are linked to mass hysteria events -- when large groups of people all become convinced that their willys are on the fritz. The condition itself isn't harmful, but some harm can be caused by the efforts sufferers go through in an attempt to prevent the retraction from taking place. This includes using things like fishing line and shoe strings to try to anchor the penis so it can't go missing
If you've seen "Underworld," then we're sorry. But you're also familiar with lycanthropy, the name people toss around when they want to sound smart talking about werewolves. Turns out werewolves aren't just for movies anymore, they're also for a few people with this very rare condition. As you'd expect, people with clinical lycanthropy
think they turn into animals. And while "werewolf" is kind of the catch all term, it doesn't necessarily have to involve wolves. For instance, boanthropy is when you think you turn into a cow
. Here's hoping that makes it into the next "Underworld" sequel. The basic way this condition works is that a person thinks they transform into an animal, or at least have at some point in the past. Generally it's linked to some overarching psychological disorder and this is merely one expression of it, but it does come complete with animal-like behavior – sometimes grunting, barking or walking like an animal, and occasionally can see patients transforming from one animal to another before "turning human" again.
Because not all mental illnesses have to date back to times when people thought they were the result of demonic possession, Internet addiction disorder
is around to make you question yourself while you read this very article. The condition is characterized by problematic or pathological computer use, which likely means that "World of Warcraft" is a modern day nuthouse. Originally proposed as a satirical condition, it kind of took off from there, proving that some jokes are just too good not to fold into our every day lives. The result is a condition that has several subheadings, including pornography addiction, gambling addiction, shopping addiction and overuse of social networking and blogging sites (proof positive that MySpace is wrong). There is still some resistance to classifying Internet addiction as a real disorder
; some mental health professionals contend it's at best a symptom of a bigger issue, but others are content to say it's real and also extremely problematic. According to Wikipedia, there's more Internet addiction in Asia than you can shake a stick at, with apparently millions of sufferers throughout countries like China
. But don't worry about that. Now go read our next feature.
From the Web:
7 Most Insane Things People Have Done While Sleepwalking.
11 Alternate Dinosaur Extinction Theories.