7 Unusual Psychological Disorders You Probably Didn’t Know About

Mental health issues affect millions of people in the world every year. As per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 50% of Americans suffer from a mental condition at some point. Psychological disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolarity, etc., are well-known today. But even as the perception about mental health changes, there is a lot to be done for rare psychological disorders.

Uncommon psychological disorders

A lack of knowledge about the ‘less common’ disorders continues to stigmatize those suffering from them. This necessitates creating awareness about the ‘less talked about’ disorders.

Here is a list of seven uncommon and rare psychological disorders to help you understand the vast spectrum of mental health problems better.

Also read: Is Voyeuristic Disorder A Personality Disorder?

1. Khyâl Cap

Khyâl Cap

Khyâl Cap or ‘wind attacks’ is a rare psychological disorder found in Cambodians in America and Cambodia. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders- Fifth Edition (DSM-V) says that Khyâl Cap has symptoms similar to panic attacks. They include feeling dizzy, anxious, out of breath, etc. 

The attack is caused by a wind-like substance called Khyâl that rises in the body. It causes serious symptoms. The attack might start without a prior warning. Khyâl Cap is a type of cultural disorder that tends to occur in a specific group or culture.  

2. Alice in the Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in the wonderland syndrome (AIWS), also known as Todd syndrome, is a psychological disorder that distorts a person’s perspective of their body, time, space, etc. This disorder is triggered by substance abuse, brain tumor, or migraines.

People having AIWS experience hallucinations and hampered sensory mechanisms. Patients are confused about the shape and size of their body parts. AIWS can affect children between the age of 5-10.

3. Aboulomania 


The important question – to be or not to be – forms the basis of Aboulomania. People suffering from Abulomania suffer from a lack of willpower to make the smallest decisions. They are constantly unable to make simple life choices.

Deciding whether to go to work or stay at home becomes a challenge. This psychological indecisiveness induces stress and anxiety.

Read more: Is Anxiety Disorder A Mental Illness? Myths And Facts

4. Alien Hand Syndrome

alien hand syndrome

People with alien hand psychological disorder believe one of their hands is not theirs. They think of their hand as a whole new system. 

Sometimes, patients assume that they have been possessed by supernatural powers. Scientifically, the disorder is associated with damage to the corpus callosum. These fibers bind the two sides of the brain.

5. Pica

Pica is a psychological disorder that makes people eat items that are not considered food. The items include dirt, clay, glue, etc. 

The disorder is most common among young children. However, pregnant women diagnosed with zinc or iron deficiencies might also have Pica disorder. People having Schizophrenia and Panic disorders might develop pica as a coping mechanism.

6. Capgras Syndrome

Capgras is commonly referred to as delusion of doubles syndrome. In this psychological disorder, a person feels that a similar-looking imposter has replaced their family member, pet, or friend. 

Opposite the general notion, the disorder does not occur more frequently in females. Its onset is associated with brain injury and migraine. In extremely rare cases, it is also induced by a drug called ketamine.

7. Clinical Lycanthropy

Clinical lycanthropy is a severe psychological disorder that makes a person delusional. They begin to identify themselves as an animal. The delusion of transforming into a wolf is a common symptom.

People with Clinical lycanthropy believe that they can turn into any animal. They start to think and behave like animals. These people are often found in and around forests.


All kinds of mental disorders are serious and require proper care. They impact a person’s mental and physical well-being.

With this thought in mind, rare mental disorders need extra care and treatment. People suffering 

from them must get proper support and help. 

Now that you know about these rare psychological disorders, treatment is the next step toward fighting stigmas. To read more about mental health treatments, click here.

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