50 Rare Human Disorders You Never Knew – Part 3

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1Münchausen syndrome

Münchausen syndrome is a syndrome where a person pretends to be ill to gain attention and sympathy. It is more common in men while Münchausen syndrome by proxy, where a caregiver (usually mothers) fakes or causes illness/injuries to a vulnerable person under their care, is more common in women.


2. Grayson’s syndrome is so rare that it is named after the only known case. Grayson Kole Smith was born blind, deaf, missing a third of his skull, with a hole in his heart and with severe facial, spinal and cranial deformities. Born in 2013, doctors put him on end-of-life-care, predicting he would die in a month. He defied odds, went through 36 life-threatening surgeries, was obsessed with baseball, learnt to speak, but unfortunately died in 2021 at the age of 10.


3. Puppy pregnancy syndrome is a psychosomatic illness that has been observed in several Asian countries. People suffering from it believe that after being bitten by a dog, puppies are growing inside their abdomen. Both men and women have been observed to bark like dogs and have reported being able to see the puppies inside them when looking at water or hear them growling in their abdomen. It also hinders treatment of rabies.


4. Hyperelastic skin a.k.a. “rubber skin,” which is often caused by Ehlers-Danlos syndrome refers to the ability of the sufferer’s skin to be stretched much farther away from connective tissue than normal.


5. Tree man syndrome is a rare gene mutation that makes people highly susceptible to HPV and causes severe deformity and tree-like mutations on one’s skin.


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6Erotomania

Erotomania is a delusional disorder in which a person believes another person, often famous or important, is in love with them. The person suffering from this delusion might think the person of interest is sending them subliminal messages. This disorder is most often seen in women.


7. There is a psychological disorder called Boanthropy which causes the afflicted to believe that they are a cow/ox and they behave as such.


8. Logorrhea is a communication disorder that causes excessive wordiness and repetitiveness, which can cause incoherency. This disorder is also known as press speech. It is sometimes classified as a mental illness, but it is more commonly classified as a symptom of mental illness or brain injury.


9. The scientific name for ‘pee shivers’ is Post-micturition Convulsion Syndrome. It is seen more frequently in men than women and there is no definitive researched reason why it happens in the first place.


10. Depersonalization disorder (also known as depersonalization-derealization disorder) is a mental disorder in which the person feels detached from reality and/or their own body. The person perceives the world as foggy, dreamlike/surreal, or visually distorted.


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11Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is a rare inherited genetic disorder that causes uncontrollable self-injury starting at the age of 2 with biting of the lips and fingers. Virtually all patients are male and female carriers are usually asymptomatic, but can transmit the trait to their male children.


12. Body dysmorphic disorder, occasionally still called dysmorphophobia, is a mental disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some aspect of one's own body part or appearance is severely flawed and therefore warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it.


13. Sick building syndrome is a condition in which people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or become infected with chronic disease from the building in which they work or reside. Misplanned aerodynamics and defective construction materials are among the causes of SBS.


14. Mountains make you fart. High Altitude Flatus Expulsion (HAFE) is a syndrome experienced where the decreased air pressure surrounding your body at altitude causes an increase in the volume of gas in your digestive tract, which makes you have an increased urge to expel this gas.


15. Orthorexia, or orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that involves an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.


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16Linburg-Comstock syndrome

About 14-21% of the human population has a genetic variation known as Linburg-Comstock syndrome. This variation inhibits one’s ability to bend your thumb without also bending your pointer finger.


17. Hearing your own voice and/or breathing in your ears is not normal. It can be caused by Patulous Eustachian tube disorder. The tube helps equalize pressure in your head. It’s normally closed but stays open occasionally with the disorder. It only affects about 1% of the population.


18. Fish Odor Syndrome is a psychologically disabling condition in which a patient emits a foul odor, which resembles that of rotting fish.


19. A brain syndrome called Mirrored-Touch Synesthesia causes people to physically feel what other people are feeling just by looking at them.


20. Floating-Harbor Syndrome is an extremely rare genetic disorder characterized by short stature, delayed bone age, dental problems, visual impairment, mild to moderate intellectual disability, and a distinctive facial appearance. There are less than 50 diagnosed cases worldwide.


21Parry-Romberg syndrome

Parry-Romberg syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by slowly progressive deterioration (atrophy) of the skin and soft tissues of half of the face (hemifacial atrophy), usually the left side. It is more common in females than in males.


22. The average NBA player has a wingspan-to-height ratio greater than the diagnostic criteria for Marfan syndrome; a disorder that results in abnormally long limbs.


23. For some people, recognizing faces is impossible due to a neurological disorder known as prosopagnosia (also called face blindness). For them, loved ones can appear to be strangers.


24. There is a condition called Musical Ear Syndrome which is characterized by non-psychiatric auditory hallucinations. It is theorized to be caused by hypersensitivity in the auditory cortex caused by the sensory deprivation that is often seen in hearing loss.


25. An anxiety disorder called Agoraphobia causes you to have an extreme fear of places. If it is severe enough, you may not even be able to leave your home. You may not be able to visit with family and friends, go to school or work, run errands, or take part in other normal daily activities.

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