[Serious] Psychologists of Reddit, what’s the most interesting mental disorder you’ve encountered?

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Medical doctor here (neurologist)… Capgras delusion. The patient is convinced that a family member has been replaced by an imposter who is completely identical. For example, the patient will tell you the person sitting across from them looks exactly like their spouse, sounds exactly like their spouse, has all the memories of their spouse. But… “that’s not actually my spouse”. And the patient oftentimes isn’t overly distressed by this imposter. In 20 years I’ve only seen the condition twice.


A psychologist here. Not someone I worked with, but I did observe someone with Alien hand syndrome. The patients left hand would stroke her hair and pat her face but was not under her control. Each episode would last for about 20 mins. Turned out the cause was a tumour. Amazingly it didn’t seem to cause her any distress.


Foreign Accent Syndrome is rare but is absolutely fascinating.


Mental health counsellor here, the interesting one is schizophrenia with visual hallucinations. Most people with schizophrenia have auditory hallucinations. I did not realize how much more unsettling the visual one is. The client I had with this disorder used to see me and other people he knew. He called me up once yelling at me for coming into his apartment early in the morning. Even if I told him otherwise, the experience of seeing me is very real to him. I can’t imagine seeing people in my own home, especially at night. That would freak me the fuck out.


Early on in my career I worked at a Planned Community that functioned as a Partial Hospitalization Program. One of the residents would bring magazines and newspapers he’d found to the main office door everyday. Sometimes he’d be upset, sometimes overjoyed, depending on the stories. Because all of them were about *him*. I’ve never worked with someone with such delusions before or sense. One day he was Michael Jordan offering to buy us cars, the next he was Osama Bin Laden trying to hide with us. He’d read his obituary, his wife cheated on him in a political scandal, he’d surveyed the Congo. We restricted and sorted his mail after the Bin Laden incident, but he’d find other residents’ or in the community.