Peculiar Abnormalities

There’s nothing about psychology that excites me more than its “abnormal” aspect. Though my excitement may, at times, come across as negligent voyeurism, I assure you it’s not. Just as a collector believes himself fortunate to find an original work of art by a celebrated artist, so too do clinicians find clinical “originals” appealing. The disorder, whether it be psychotic or personality-based in nature, is not cause for celebration. Instead, clinicians love a challenge. And, since individuals who perfectly match the framework of any major psychiatric diagnosis are often consumed by resultant effects of their abnormality, it’s difficult to even earn the amount of trust and respect necessary to effectively implement a treatment that aims to have the individual achieve some sort of functional normality.

Anyway, over the years, I’ve collected links to some syndromes that I would like to witness in their raw form. This is because I think these are phenomena that, when conceptualized as mere aspects, assist a clinician in mapping out a constellation that represents the contributions that a person receives from the respective biological, familial, cultural, and societal portions of his or her life. As well, any manifestation of these conditions would require a creative and collaborative approach to treatment.

The first related to art and is know as Stendhal syndrome:
Stendhal syndrome, Stendhal's syndrome, Hyperkulturemia, or Florence syndrome, is a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly 'beautiful' or a large amount of art is in a single place. The term can also be used to describe a similar reaction to a surfeit of choice in other circumstances, e.g. when confronted with immense beauty in the natural world.
At times I’ve found myself overwhelmed by my surroundings but this response has always been due to noise and heat. Though, at least I’ve never considered myself an animal:
Clinical lycanthropy is defined as a rare psychiatric syndrome which involves a delusion that the affected person can or has transformed into an animal, or that he or she is an animal. Its name is connected to the mythical condition of lycanthropy, a supernatural affliction in which people are said to physically shapeshift into wolves. The word zoanthropy is also sometimes used for the delusion that one has turned into an animal in general and not specifically a wolf.
The Greeks probably were not the first to command one another to “know thyself.” However, I’m sure that their version of this simple philosophical statement collided with those who suffered from the following:
Anosognosia is a condition in which a person who suffers disability due to brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of his or her disability. This may include unawareness of quite dramatic impairments, such as blindness or paralysis. It was first named by neurologist Joseph Babinski in 1914, although relatively little has been discovered about the cause of the condition since its initial identification. The word comes from the Greek words "nosos" disease and "gnosis" knowledge.
Incidentally, Diogenes was a Greek man:
Diogenes syndrome, also known as senile squalor syndrome, is a behavioral disorder characterized by extreme self-neglect. It usually affects the elderly who live alone. Its symptoms include body odor and other signs of severe hygienic neglect. Physical diseases relating to bodily neglect usually accompany the syndrome. Diogenes syndrome usually manifests itself in association with compulsive hoarding, the pathological collection and storage of objects, mainly other people's refuse (items possibly thought to be useful by the sufferer).


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