while in Wonderland.
Sometimes the disorder also confuses their sense of time. The afflicted can even feel like they’re levitating, they are so out of touch with what their bodies are doing under the syndrome’s spell.
Although Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is often associated with migraines and epilepsy, in some cases patients have a viral onset. Other times doctors attribute the disorder to hallucinogenic use. No matter the cause, it’s generally considered harmless so the focus is more on treating the underlying condition with antivirals, antibiotics, or epilepsy medication in those particular cases.
2 Big Phony Imposters
Two syndromes on our list are very much alike. In fact, they could even be mistaken for one another. This is a delightful bit of irony because the whole nature of the syndromes themselves is precisely this sort of mistaken identity.
Stranger Danger: Capgras Syndrome
People may sometimes do things that we feel are out of character for them, and this can trigger a sense of doubt about really knowing them. But when you are afflicted with Capgras Syndrome, you actually believe that a significant person in your life has been replaced by an imposter.
Those with Capgras Syndrome may even believe that their pet or their sofa (or other inanimate object) has been replaced by an imposter!
Those suffering with this disorder may experience excessive amounts of anxiety and confusion as well as anger and aggressive behavior toward the perceived fake person or household item.
Imposter syndrome or Capgras delusion is named after French psychiatrist, Joseph Capgras and was first classified in 1923. It may be caused by brain damage or lesions on the brain, or by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
When Every Day Is Halloween: Fregoli Syndrome
Fregoli Syndrome is slightly different from Capgras but similar.
Patients with the Fregoli delusion believe that the many people around them are actually the same person with lots of different disguises.
Imagine if your whole experience of the world felt like a flash mob but you were the only one not in on it. That’s what the Fregoli Syndrome feels like… but with a lot more paranoia and less dancing.
Fregoli syndrome was first discovered in 1927 when a woman thought her favorite actresses were disguising themselves as her friends, her employers, and even strangers around her. The doctors named the condition after a famous impersonator, Leopoldo Fregoli of Italy.
Nervous Much? 3 Major Stress Syndromes
Each disorder in this next set involves a reaction to stress, whether it’s emotional trauma or as extreme as brain injury. Sometimes stress can have an impact on our behavior and beliefs. Other times it can make us talk funny.
Mais, Oui, Monsieur: Foreign Accent Syndrome
If you’ve ever seen the episode of Friends when Ross teaches at NYU, you’re already familiar with this strange syndrome. In the episode, Ross gets so nervous on his first day as a professor that he slips into a sprightly British accent. And yes, that’s actually a thing . . . called Foreign Accent Syndrome.
In the real world this syndrome is a little different, though. It’s usually the result of brain damage caused by a stroke or injury.
The best known case of the syndrome was reported by a Norwegian neurologist, so it’s not surprising that the brain’s neurology is intimately involved in this disorder. In fact, unlike the silly case of Ross Gellar, people who actually have FAS don’t control their accent at all. It just starts coming out when they talk and remains involuntary.
This may inhibit their natural expression in some ways or confuse friends and family for a while. But at least they don’t have to keep up a gut-busting charade in front of a college classroom for nine months.
Sympathetic Tendencies: Lima Syndrome
We’ve all heard about Stockholm Syndrome, which is when hostage victims develop a fondness for their captors. But did you know this can also develop in the other direction?