10 Truly Bizarre Mental Delusions!!
When you are delusional, you lose the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy. Sufferers stumble through life, constricted by pseudo-worlds of their own making. Although the term was first coined in 1977, symptoms of delusion have been recorded for over 150 years.
Following are the 10 most bizarre syndromes to be documented since that time:
1. Capgras Delusion:
In the heat of an argument it’s normal to want to disown your parents or kids, but for the sufferer of Capgras delusions that feeling never goes away. It’s commonly caused when the “wire” that connects the visual section of the brain to the emotional section is damaged. As a result, the sufferer sees their loved ones but no emotional response is triggered; they truly believe that the person in front of them is nothing more than an imposter.
2. Internet Delusions:
True story: A woman, suspicious of one ingredient in her chewing gum, took to the search engines to find answers. Instead, she found herself wrapped in a delusional conspiracy involving secret terrorist organizations, government espionage agencies and clandestine phone taps. Because of this case and others like it, the Internet is a growing concern due to its ability to trigger psychotic delusions.
3. Truman Show Delusion:
Since the 1998 release of the movie “The Truman Show”, smatterings of cases involving that movie’s plot have been occurring. According to Ian and Joel Gold (two Canadian doctors), the delusion makes the sufferer believe they are the star of a reality show which they can’t escape. This is, apparently, a twist on the more traditional delusions of grandiose and/or persecution.
4. Life as Computer Game:
Over the course of two years, one man’s mind slowly broke and made him believe he was actually a character in a video game. The object of this game, unfortunately, was to steal cars, kill people and avoid the police. He even felt the game spoke to him through the headphones, so he began to play incessantly. He managed to steal various cars at gunpoint (moving from “weaker” cars to more “powerful” ones to score points) before being arrested and eventually sent to the psychiatric facility.
Sufferers of depersonalization feel like they “fall away from themselves”…meaning, they “see” themselves acting but have no control over the situation. Life feels like a movie or a dream, and some people even chase this feeling through the use of illicit drugs. The difference is that for the truly afflicted, that “high” never goes away or comes at undesirable moments (like for some panic attack victims).
7. Delusions Of Grandeur:
Delusions of grandeur involve patients who believe they are a famous individual, or falsely believe they know somebody who is. As an example, a patient may feel they are Alexander the Great…or Bill Clinton…or Ghandi. Alternatively, they may feel they are best friends with Stevie Wonder or Oprah Winfrey.
8. Super Human Delusions:
As you could guess, this delusion makes one feel that they have superhuman abilities. This is a particularly dangerous syndrome, which can lead to injury (or worse) as patients attempt to exercise their delusional powers.
Erotomania sufferers believe that another person (who is usually a celebrity) is in love with them and told them secretly via a glance, special signal or telepathy. To return the sentiment, they start sending love letters and making phone calls. When these go unanswered, the sufferer grows angry and violent. Somewhere during this process, the authorities are called in to protect the object of affection.
10. Clinical Lycanthropy:
Clinical lycanthropy is a psychotic delusion that makes the patient believe they can or have turned into a wolf. This term specifically applies to wolf-based delusions, and zoanthropy or therianthropy are applied for delusions based on other animals. Sufferers reportedly act like an animal, although no physical change is perceived by observers.