LIFE

12 Unusual Mental Illnesses You’ve Never Heard Of

Do you vomit when you go to Paris? Compulsively tear out your pubic hair? Maybe you think your hand is trying to kill you or that you’re rotting from the inside out. If so, chances are you’re suffering from one of these weird and not-so-wonderful rare mental illnesses.

Erotomania

erotomania

Erotomania is like a teenage crush on crack. It involves highly deluded people who are convinced that certain people are Jane-Eyre-style enthralled with them (my friend is convinced that Jake Gyllenhaal would dig her if they met but it’s not the same thing). The imagined gentleman callers are nearly always of a higher social status and therefore often include famous celebrities. The illness often occurs during episodes of psychosis or Bipolar mania or in people with schizophrenia. Even though a sufferer will rarely have met their admirer, they remain convinced that they are being shown declarations of love through special looks or messages through the media. If a sufferer does attempt to make contact, any rejection of advances is dismissed as attempts to conceal their forbidden love. Obviously, this means that such delusions are extremely difficult to either disprove or break. Famous examples of the disorder include John Hinckley Jr. and Margaret Mary Ray. Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, supposedly driven by his erotomanic obsession with Jodie Foster. Ray, on the other hand, fixated on both David Letterman and former astronaut Story Musgrave. Unfortunately, little is known about the treatment of this disorder but it is thought to be improved with the help of therapy.


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