10 Unusual Psychiatric Disorders and Phobias

Read about some of the most bizarre mental disorders



Unusual psychiatric disorders & phobias

Despite the advancement in medication and psychological treatment in the current era, there yet exist certain unusual psychiatric disorders and phobias which not only greatly disturb the everyday life of the person suffering from them but also affect the lives of those associated with him or her.

A psychiatric or mental disorder is simply an usual psychological condition which may arise due to multiple reasons and leave the person suffering due to it in bad mental or physical health if not diagnosed or dealt with immediately.

A phobia, on the other hand, is a fear based on anxiety which may be stimulated due to a bad experience in any part of one’s life. Below are listed ten highly unusual and rare psychiatric disorders and phobias for your reading pleasure:


  1. Stockholm Syndrome


This disorder is linked with severe sentimental or physiological stress as the person suffering from it shows immense sympathy or loyalty towards a particular individual or group of individuals acting as the oppressor in a certain scenario.

The term Stockholm Syndrome originated when in 1973, the hostages of a bank robbery in the city of Stockholm defended the burglars to an extent that they protected them by not testifying against them as a result of being emotionally attached with them to a great extent.


  1. Bibliomania


Bibliomania in simple terms is a psychiatric disorder pertaining to the obsession of collecting massive number of books (not necessarily reading them) and feeling satisfied in their presence.

In this disorder, the sufferer usually tries to hide his or her anxiety by piling huge stocks of books and feels comfortable having them. There can be multiple causes associated with the emergence of this disorder in a person.

Treatment of the disorder primarily involves psychotherapy and certain cognitive behavioral tactics to modify the person’s anxiety levels and bring acceptable change in them.


  1. Triskaidekaphobia


This phobia is linked with the fear of the number 13. Those suffering from make all efforts to distance themselves from the number as much as possible and usually refrain from doing anything important on the particular date of any month.

Concerns regarding the particular number are mostly there to be witnessed in Western culture, more specifically among the believers of Christian faith as 13 was the total number of people present at the Last Supper of Jesus Christ (Jesus himself and the 12 apostles) whereas the apostle Judas, who betrayed Christ, was the 13th person to arrive at the party.

There are a number of hotels and famous buildings who skip naming the thirteenth floor of the structure as such due to this very phobia.


  1. Nomophobia


This phobia is linked with losing cellphone coverage or connectivity as those suffering from nomophobia may tend to lose control over them (or their emotions) if they are not able to see their phones for a certain period of time.

A phobia mostly linked with developed countries, researches came up with the particular term for the anxiety some eight years back after finding an alarming rise in the numbers of those suffering from it.


  1. Foreign Accent Syndrome


As the name suggests, this rare disorder makes a person forget his or her accent – for the time being or for eternity – and replaces it with what researchers consider to be a person’s native accent.

Take the example of 50-year-old UK resident Linda Walker who after suffering from a stroke, lost her particular English Geordie accent and had it replaced with a Jamaican accent. Scientists believe that individuals suffer from this disorder after undergoing a brain or head injury.

  1. Alien Hand Syndrome


In this strange disorder, the suffer feels that his or her hand is not actually a part of their body and is actually being controlled by an alien force. Those suffering from this particular syndrome are of the view that their hand is acting independently, against the will of their mind.

Alien Hand Syndrome is usually the outcome of a syndrome or related brain injuries which result in loss of connection of the brain with the hand movement hence the sufferer feels his or her hand acts on its own.

  1. Coulrophobia


Coulrophobia or the fear of clowns is a rather common phobia which is there to be observed among all age groups. This phobia usually stems during childhood when children get exposed to certain visuals which links clowns with persons to be afraid of in the back of their minds – a fear which many people are not able to effectively shake off during their entire lifetimes.

Joker, the renowned antagonist in the famous comic series Batman, and related figures in horror films quite often serve the purpose of promoting this fear. Even famous celebrities including Johnny Depp and Daniel Radcliffe suffer from this phobia.


  1. Xanthophobia


Xanthophobia refers to the fear of yellow color and hence all objects which are covered in this particular color, be it flowers, books, cabs or anything.

In extreme cases, the sufferer even develops fear of the word ‘yellow’ itself. The causes usually linked with this phobia include a traumatic experience in a certain age of a person’s life which develops the fear towards the particular color in the person’s mindset.


  1. Riley-Day Syndrome


Individuals suffering from this particular disorder become insensitive to pain. They may suffer from a number of other health problems including having a hard time swallowing their meals, frequent vomiting and others.

Riley-Day Syndrome is an inherited disorder and the autonomous nervous system of the person suffering from it is badly affected because of it.


  1. Apotemnophilia


In this horrendous disorder, the person suffering from it attains satisfaction after cutting off their body limbs. The sufferer may even ask others to do the task for them or may even damage a limb to an extent that it requires surgery to remove it thus bringing them at ease.

The disorder is primarily caused due to damage to a certain part of an individual’s mind. Not many major breakthroughs have yet been achieved regarding the treatment of apotemnophilia thus far.