(And other rare, fascinating psychiatric syndromes.)
I’ll quickly admit that psych has some of the most interesting disorders and syndromes in all of medicine. You don’t actually see any of these in your month of psych, because they’re so rare, but you learn about them when you’re studying for your shelf exam. Some favorites (many taken from this great Wikipedia entry, which seems pretty in-depth with a cursory glance):
- In Capgras syndrome, the patient feels that a person familiar to him, usually a family member has been replaced by a double i.e. an identical looking imposter. Invasion of the Body Doubles at its finest.
- Cotard’s syndrome is a disorder in which patients believe they have lost everything–money, strength, house, cars–even their own internal organs.
- Folie à deux is a syndrome where one person comes to share the other person’s delusions, often a spouse or partner.
- In Fregoli syndrome, the person feels that a person not known to him previously gets changed to a familiar person or one of his close family members.
- Koro is a culture-specific syndrome usually seen in Asians. It involves a morbid fear of retraction of the penis into the abdomen with the belief that this will lead to death.