Freaky Medical Conditions- Part 1
Medical conditions range from minor to major but some are also in the bizarre category. So, the next time you break a limb or come down with scurvy, be thankful it’s not something much more weird.
Body integrity identity disorder
Sufferers of a bizarre medical condition called “body integrity identity disorder” (BIID), who are otherwise totally sane, feel as if one of their body parts — their right foot up to the mid-calf, for example — shouldn’t be there. The limb seems horrific and alien, and they can usually draw a line in the exact place where they desperately wish to have it removed.
The neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran recently uncovered the cause of the condition: BIID sufferers are missing part of their body image map in their brains. Their unwanted limb is not correctly mapped onto the corresponding brain region, leaving them feeling extremely uncomfortable with it.
There is currently no cure but for the uncharted limb to be removed, and when a sympathetic surgeon agrees to amputate, BIID sufferers report feeling infinitely happier.
Congenital insensitivity to pain
Ever wish you didn’t feel pain? Take it back right now! Pain is a life-saving physical response to danger, and when people are born with a rare genetic mutation that leaves them unable to feel pain, they often die early deaths as a result of treatable injuries that they simply fail to notice.
It all starts in infancy, when babies born with pain insensitivity bite off the tips of their tongues, break their bones without making a fuss, and get corneal damage after neglecting to brush foreign objects out of their eyes.
Sufferers of pica have an undeniable urge to eat non-food, often as a result of stress, mineral deficiency or pregnancy. The disease has many sub-categories, some weirder and more dangerous than others, to describe people who eat chalk, feces, glass, mucus, paint, body parts, hair, urine, wood and more..
As the name implies, this little-understood psychological condition sets in among a group of people — typically a gaggle of young girls — who spontaneously manifest the same or similar hysterical symptoms, such as seizures, convulsions or fainting. Sufferers believe they all have the same disease or illness, but in fact they’re all in good physical health.
Recently, Thera Sanchez, a high school cheerleader in upstate New York, developed strange physical and vocal tics; this led to a dozen other girls and one boy in her school developing the same Tourette’s-like symptoms. Officials initially wondered if the students were being poisoned, but psychiatrists recognized the phenomenon as a modern day case of mass hysteria.