Mental illnesses continue to be controversial in the society not only because of the taboos attached to them but also due to the lack of knowledge. Any individual behaving in a manner that is not as per the societal norms is often wrongly categorized as mentally ill.
Rather than considering mental illness as a matter of shame and sign of weakness, there is a need to recognize it as a mental condition caused due to the changes in the brain chemistry. Besides the lack of awareness about the severity and adverse consequences of mental illnesses, there are many mental disorders that often remain unidentified and misunderstood.
Some of such rare mental disorders that despite being fairly prevalent remain unrecognized as mental disorders have been mentioned below:
1. Pica: Pica is a mental disorder associated with cravings for non-nutritional and nonfood things like wood, paint, etc. Commonly observed among toddlers, pica is also largely witnessed in pregnant women and those with learning difficulties like autism.
Depending on the substance, pica is categorized into various subtypes, such as geophagy (consumption of soil, clay, etc.), hyalophagia (consumption of glass), etc. Due to the consumption of such harmful or sharp materials, it causes adverse repercussions like lead poisoning, gastrointestinal blockages or stomach lining tears. Although thought to be a habit due to the deficiency of iron or minerals, its cure and causes still remain undetermined.
2. Genital retraction syndrome: As the name suggest, genital retraction syndrome is a psychiatric disorder wherein an individual suffers from severe anxiety over his or her genitals or breasts. While men fear about the shrinking of their penis into the abdomen, women worry about their retracting breast. People with this disorder are anxious to such an extent that they fear disappearance of their genitals that could further cause death. Demographically, the disorder is more common in the Southeast Asian countries, which have experienced hysteria over shrinkage of genitals in the past.
3. Synesthesia: Synesthesia, one of the most interesting mental disorders, causes explicit experiences due to the blending of two senses. In simple words, the disorder can be explained as the union of the senses, which occurs when the stimulation of one sense leads to involuntary experiences in another sense, such as the sensation of color upon hearing sounds or reading words. As the condition does not have any negative repercussion, it is to a large extent not considered a disease.
4. Aboulomania: People with poor decision-making capabilities often find making choices difficult, primarily because of the fear of selecting the wrong option. In fact, for some people, making even simple life choices, such as whether to go for a walk, picking up the ice cream flavor, etc., becomes a challenge.
Aboulomania, termed as “paralysis of the will” by psychiatrists, causes psychological problems due to chronic indecision. Though people with aboulomania may appear physically and mentally normal, they experience anxiety and difficulty in regaining the normal function. Such an inability to decide comes from the need for 100 percent certainty, which further paralyzes the capacity to exercise free will. The condition has also been associated with depressive and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
5. Walking corpse syndrome: Though many may assume the syndrome to be associated with extreme tiredness, walking corpse syndrome is a mental disorder wherein the person believes himself or herself to be dead or nonexistent. The condition is closely associated with depression, as well as the chronic deprivation of sleep or drug psychosis. Interestingly, it has also been connected to Capgras syndrome (a condition where the individual believes someone in his or her life has been replaced by an imposter).
Remove unwarranted stigmas
While behavioral changes can be suggestive of an underlying mental disorder, many mental disorders may not be indicated by body language. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the lesser-known symptoms of mental illnesses to seek proper medical help.
If you know someone suffering from any mental disorder, contact the Florida Mental Health Helpline for information on mental disorder treatment in Florida. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 or chat online for further expert advice on rehab centers in Florida.