10 human syndromes that confound scientists

(ORDO NEWS) — In addition to autism, depression and schizophrenia in humans, a variety of conditions and syndromes can occur. For example, some residents of Japan suffer from the so-called “Paris Syndrome” – they feel anxiety at the sight of the French.

The Stockholm syndrome is not generally recognized as a mental illness, although the state where the victim feels sympathy for his captor and even puts himself in his place is clearly not normal. Many syndromes are distinguished in people, depending on age, hereditary predispositions, and even national traits, of which not all fall under the medical classification. We will analyze the most interesting of them.

Diogenes Syndrome

People in this state are distinguished by self-neglect, they experience apathy and are socially withdrawn. At the same time, they often do not have a sense of shame, so pathological drives are obtained from such people.

The more a person isolates himself from society, the more trash accumulates in his house, and someone even begins to change his appearance due to neglect of basic hygiene. Moreover, such people are not always poor – sometimes Diogenous syndrome occurs in wealthy men and women who are afraid of spending money. They do not want to buy something new and therefore do not throw away the old.

Doctors came to the conclusion that this syndrome occurs due to disturbances in the functioning of the anterior part of the cingulate gyrus and the islet lobe of the brain. As a rule, it is these parts that are responsible for human decision making. Often the disease proceeds against a background of severe depression and dementia. It occurs mainly in older people, its prevalence in the world is about 3%. Medications can relieve some of the symptoms of the syndrome, however, a full recovery is possible only with active social work.

An interesting fact is that the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes did not suffer from such a disorder. Although he lived in a barrel, he was at the same time minimalist, communicated with others and possessed high intelligence.

Dorian Gray Syndrome

This condition was named in honor of the main character of Oscar Wilde’s novel “Portrait of Dorian Gray”. Accordingly, the symptoms in patients are the same as his – a panic fear of aging. Therefore, people in this state are buying up a lot of cosmetics and doing various plastic surgeries that allow them to look younger. Sometimes they compensate for aging by buying fashionable youth clothes, even if it does not suit them.

Despite the fact that Dorian Gray syndrome is characterized by narcissism and self-love, in some cases this condition can be dangerous, since the slightest appearance disturbances can lead to a person’s depression and even suicide attempts. Most often, this condition occurs in public people, actors and musicians, for whom their physical appearance is important.

Stendhal syndrome

One of the most unusual syndromes is characterized by the occurrence of hallucinations when getting acquainted with works of art in museums and art galleries. It can also appear in a person with excessive sensitivity – for example, if he saw an unusual natural phenomenon, an animal or a very beautiful person. Among the symptoms of Stendhal’s syndrome are observed not only hallucinations, but also fainting, hysteria, destructive behavior, loss of orientation in space. Also, in such people, the heart begins to beat strongly and tachycardia occurs against this background.

The syndrome was named after the French writer Stendhal, who complained of fainting and high pulse when visiting cultural sites in Florence.

Stendhal’s syndrome was first described in 1979 by tourists visiting Florence. Some of them, while in museums and art galleries, suddenly tried to disrupt the painting or destroy the exhibit. It is very rare, but just in case, museum staff in Florence are instructed on how to work with such people.

Moebius Syndrome

Unlike the previous described conditions, this syndrome can be seen immediately, since a person does not have any facial expressions. This is a congenital anomaly that occurs due to the abnormal development of several cranial nerves and facial paralysis. Therefore, it seems as though people with Möbius syndrome are constantly wearing a mask: they cannot smile or make a grimace. It is also difficult for such people to swallow.

The syndrome was first described by the German neuropathologist Paul Moebius in 1892. According to his studies, this syndrome occurs in 10 children out of one million. Since the condition is not too common, doctors can not fully study it and achieve a full recovery. Nevertheless, in the early stages due to therapy and drugs, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of the disease. By the way, people with Möbius syndrome most often do not suffer from mental disorders, they become doctors and even scientists and lead a familiar lifestyle.

Asperger Syndrome

Another poorly understood state in which a person becomes closed and does not know how to recognize other people’s emotions. He begins to experience difficulties in interacting with other people, he does not want to communicate again. Such a person is usually focused on his own interests and is often fixated on any one task. The syndrome is not a disease or any serious deviation, so many researchers argue that this syndrome should not be regarded as a disorder, but be attributed to the individual characteristics of a person.

So far, no biochemical, hormonal or genetic markers have been found that uniquely accompany this condition. Do not reveal it when scanning the brain. And as a treatment, scientists offer social therapy aimed at expanding the circle of contacts with other people.

At the same time, due to attention to detail, purposefulness and scrupulousness, these geniuses are often obtained from such children.

Asperger syndrome was, for example, in Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton; he was also diagnosed with Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, and Bill Gates, who became the head of Microsoft.

Savant’s syndrome

If you watched the film “Rain Man”, then you know what people in this state are capable of. Such people can have a phenomenal memory, they have the ability to music, art, architecture and the exact sciences. For example, a person with savant syndrome may recite an entire book by heart or name the day of the week that will fall on May 20, 2050. Typically, these people are called “computers” due to their incredible computing abilities.

One of the vivid examples of a person with savant syndrome is Kim Peak: he is able to remember maps of all cities in the United States and, on average, reads one page in a book in 8 seconds.

But not everything is as rosy as we would like. Savant’s syndrome does not appear just like that: it usually occurs in patients with autism and other mental illnesses, as well as due to severe traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, such people often have poorly developed other skills and they are considered mentally retarded.

Paris syndrome

At the beginning of the article, many probably did not believe that there was such a condition as the fear of the French. Nevertheless, the Paris syndrome was indeed detected in the 80s of the last century by a Japanese psychiatrist who worked at that time in France. He noted that some tourists from Japan, while in Paris, begin to behave inappropriately, experience a cultural shock from the behavior of local residents and suffer from unjustified expectations. As a result, the Japanese have hallucinations, illusions of persecution, anxiety, and even nausea and tachycardia. The same was seen by some Chinese tourists.

Why is this happening? The fact is that many Japanese people are familiar with Paris only from books and romantic films. And when they find themselves in this city themselves, they see that not all French are so beautiful and elegant, there are no more intellectuals there than in any other country. For disciplined Japanese, this becomes a real shock. Therefore, in the embassies of Japan, a hotline is working around the clock to help people suffering from the Paris syndrome.

Stockholm Syndrome

It would seem how a person can sympathize with his captor? Nevertheless, such cases do occur. The syndrome got its name after taking hostages in a bank in Stockholm in 1976. Then the criminal Jan Erik Olsson held the hostages for six days and secured the release of his former cellmate Clark Olofsson, who also came to “help” him in the bank. As a result of a competent special police operation, all the hostages were eventually released. However, the majority said that they were not afraid of the criminals who wanted to rob the bank, but the police themselves.

Do you think this is all over? But no. The accomplice Clark Olofsson with the help of witnesses in the bank was able to prove that he did not help the criminal at all, but, on the contrary, tried to free the hostages. The court acquitted him on all counts and set him free. The main robber was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but in prison he continued to correspond with some victims, receiving rave reviews from them.

Later, the FBI investigated this syndrome and concluded that out of 1,200 hostage attempts in 8% of cases, Stockholm syndrome was indeed observed. The researchers concluded that sometimes mutual sympathy between the victim and the invader reduces the risk of hostage death and increases the chances of hostages being released.

Kotar Syndrome

This is one of the strangest mental disorders, even more mysterious than Tourette’s syndrome. People with Kotar syndrome declare themselves dead, having lost blood or internal organs. Therefore, this condition is often called walking dead man’s syndrome.

This condition was first described in 1880 by the French neurologist Jules Cotard. He treated a woman who believed that some parts of her body did not exist, so she did not need food. Despite numerous therapies, she never took food and died of starvation.

Patients with Kotar syndrome are usually asocial, are constantly depressed and have suicidal tendencies. Neurologists consider this syndrome a sign of incipient schizophrenia. They suggest that the onset of this syndrome is associated with gaps between the areas of the brain that are responsible for recognizing faces and the areas that associate emotions with this recognition. Due to the fact that the condition is extremely rare, it has been little studied, and there are no ways to treat it 100%.

Manager syndrome

But this condition, perhaps, is one of the most common today, and most likely has been found in many. The manager’s syndrome arises against the background of chronic stress and leads to the depletion of not only the physical but also the emotional resources of a person. Most often, it leads to overwhelming tasks, great responsibility and emotional stress. All this together leads to chronic stress.

As such, the concept of “manager syndrome” does not exist in the international classification of diseases. For its treatment, mainly drugs are used that help to cope with stress. In some cases, strong sedatives are prescribed. However, here more often it is necessary to fight not with signs and symptoms, but with the cause itself – for example, talk with superiors or change work to a calmer one.

These are just some of the syndromes that people have. Two things unite all of them: scientists cannot agree on why they arise, and in most cases their 100% treatment does not exist. Since many syndromes are rarely observed, it is not possible to study them.


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