10 Syndrome Diagnoses by Literary Characters

Medical or psychological disorders named after popular literary characters.

Medical practitioners and psychologists use the term “syndrome” to refer to a set or pattern of symptoms that usually occur together and are indicative of a particular disorder, disease, or a social condition. Most syndromes are named after the physicians who first discovered or detected the association of the symptoms. However, there are exceptions. As follows are medical and mental syndromes that are named after popular literary figures:


1. Rapunzel Syndrome
Named after the lovely Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale princess with amazingly long-flowing hair. Medically called trichobezoar, this rare condition is characterized by intestinal obstruction caused by hair ingestion, and occurs mostly in patients diagnosed with from trichotillomania, a psychological condition manifested by an uncontrollable urge to pull out head and body hair.

 

 

2. Othello Syndrome
Named after the Shakespearean character that murdered his wife out of intense distrust. Also called delusional jealousy, it describes a person’s stubborn belief that their mate is being unfaithful; and would therefore make incessant groundless accusations of infidelity, taking considerable pains to test their mate’s trustworthiness even to the extent of displaying stalking and violent behaviour.
The picture shows a scene from the 1995 film, starring Lawrence Fishburne as Othello and Kenneth Branagh as the villain Iago.


3. Lady Windermere Syndrome
Named after the vivacious but meticulous, difficult woman, the main character from an Oscar Wilde’s play. This mycobacterial lung disease exhibits symptoms as persistent cough, shortness of breath and lethargy; and is typically treated with strong antibiotics and anti-tuberculosis drugs.

 

 

 

 

 


4. Peter Pan Syndrome
Named after the well-loved J.M. Barrie character that simply refuses to grow up. Accepted in popular psychology, people with this syndrome display immaturity in most areas of his life; they shun responsibility, oppose accepted norms, focus more on fantasies than on reality and often need to be mothered.

 

 


5. Mowgli Syndrome
Named after the main character in “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. This syndrome is used to describe children with weak mental and/or physical traits, especially those who have suffered tremendous emotional stress due to parental neglect and abuse. It is also used to refer to children who grew up without the influence of human contact, such as those said to be raised by wild animals.

 

 6. Cinderella’s Syndrome
Named after Charles Perrault’s fairy tale character popularized by Disney. Adopted children or stepchildren may sometimes be observed as having this syndrome; they would make up outrageous stories about how they were abused and/or abandoned by their adoptive mothers or stepmothers.
The picture shows Cinderella’s cruel stepmother Lady Tremaine and stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella

 


7. Pickwickian Syndrome
Named after an excessively fat boy named Joe Pickwick, a character in Charles Dickens’ very first novel. Medically known as obesity hypoventilation syndrome, this medical condition involves the combination of excessive obesity and obstructive sleep apnea, a life-threatening disorder characterized by repetitive breathing interruptions during sleep.

 

 

 

 

 


8. Huckleberry Finn’s Syndrome
Named after a very popular adventurous boy-character created by the great American writer Mark Twain. This condition refers to the habitual neglect of responsibilities by kids of superior intelligence because of parental disapproval and feelings of rejection; or the inability to adjust socially and psychologically of normal/bright children born to mentally impaired parents.

The picture shows Huckleberry Finn – Illustration by EW Kemble on the original 1884 edition of the book.

 

 


9. Dorian Gray Syndrome
Named after the character from Oscar Wilde’s novel about a handsome young man who desires his picture would grow old instead of himself. This describes people who are overly critical of their own physical appearance despite the lack of any defects. They have difficulty dealing with aging; and thus, try to cling to their youth by depending heavily on cosmetic procedures and products.

 


10. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
Named after the curious wandering character from Lewis Carroll’s most famous work. This neurological disorder is a condition wherein a person suffers from visual image distortions, perceiving parts of their body or any other objects as having been altered in size. Though most closely linked with migraine, it is also a sign of epilepsy, mononucleosis and hallucinogenic drug consumption.

We found this article on Healthmad.com and we thought you would enjoy it as much as we did.

10 Psychological States You’ve Never Heard Of…

imageEverybody knows what you mean when you say you’re happy or sad. But what about all those emotional states you don’t have words for? Here are ten feelings you may have had, but never knew how to explain.

1. Dysphoria
Often used to describe depression in psychological disorders, dysphoria is general state of sadness that includes restlessness, lack of energy, anxiety, and vague irritation. It is the opposite of euphoria, and is different from typical sadness because it often includes a kind of jumpiness and some anger. You have probably experienced it when coming down from a stimulant like chocolate, coffee, or something stronger. Or you may have felt it in response to a distressing situation, extreme boredom, or depression.

2. Enthrallment
Psychology professor W. Gerrod Parrott has broken down human emotions into subcategories, which themselves have their own subcategories. Most of the emotions he identifies, like joy and anger, are pretty recognizable. But one subset of joy, “enthrallment,” you may not have heard of before. Unlike the perkier subcategories of joy like cheerfulness, zest, and relief, enthrallment is a state of intense rapture. It is not the same as love or lust. You might experience it when you see an incredible spectacle — a concert, a movie, a rocket taking off — that captures all your attention and elevates your mood to tremendous heights.

3. Normopathy
Psychiatric theorist Christopher Bollas invented the idea of normopathy to describe people who are so focused on blending in and conforming to social norms that it becomes a kind of mania. A person who is normotic is often unhealthily fixated on having no personality at all, and only doing exactly what is expected by society. Extreme normopathy is punctuated by breaks from the norm, where normotic person cracks under the pressure of conforming and becomes violent or does something very dangerous. Many people experience mild normopathy at different times in their lives, especially when trying to fit into a new social situation, or when trying to hide behaviors they believe other people would condemn.

4. Abjection
There are a few ways to define abjection, but French philosopher Julia Kristeva (literally) wrote the book on what it means to experience abjection. She suggests that every human goes through a period of abjection as tiny children when we first realize that our bodies are separate from our parents’ bodies — this sense of separation causes a feeling of extreme horror we carry with us throughout our lives. That feeling of abjection gets re-activated when we experience events that, however briefly, cause us to question the boundaries of our sense of self. Often, abjection is what you are feeling when you witness or experience something so horrific that it causes you to throw up. A classic example is seeing a corpse, but abjection can also be caused by seeing shit or open wounds. These visions all remind us, at some level, that our selfhood is contained in what Star Trek aliens would call “ugly bags of mostly water.” The only thing separating you from being a dead body is . . . almost nothing. When you feel the full weight of that sentence, or are confronted by its reality in the form of a corpse, your nausea is abjection.

5. Sublimation
If you’ve ever taken a class where you learned about Sigmund Freud’s theories about sex, you probably have heard of sublimation. Freud believed that human emotions were sort of like a steam engine, and sexual desire was the steam. If you blocked the steam from coming out of one valve, pressure would build up and force it out of another. Sublimation is the process of redirecting your steamy desires from having naughty sex, to doing something socially productive like writing an article about psychology or fixing the lawnmower or developing a software program. If you’ve ever gotten your frustrations out by building something, or gotten a weirdly intense pleasure from creating an art project, you’re sublimating. Other psychiatrists have refined the idea of sublimation, however. Following French theorist Jacques Lacan, they say that sublimation doesn’t have to mean converting sexual desire into another activity like building a house. It could just mean transferring sexual desire from one object to another — moving your affections from your boyfriend to your neighbor, for example.

6. Repetition compulsion
Ah, Freud. You gave us so many new feelings and psychological states to explore! The repetition compulsion is a bit more complicated than Freud’s famous definition — “the desire to return to an earlier state of things.” On the surface, a repetition compulsion is something you experience fairly often. It’s the urge to do something again and again. Maybe you feel compelled to always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant, or always take the same route home, even though there are other yummy foods and other easy ways to get home. Maybe your repetition compulsion is a bit more sinister, and you always feel the urge to date people who treat you like crap, over and over, even though you know in advance it will turn out badly (just like the last ten times). Freud was fascinated by this sinister side of the repetition compulsion, which is why he ultimately decided that the cause of our urge to repeat was directly linked to what he called “the death drive,” or the urge to cease existing. After all, he reasoned, the ultimate “earlier state of things” is a state of non-existence before we were born. With each repetition, we act out our desire to go back to a pre-living state. Maybe that’s why so many people have the urge to repeat actions that are destructive, or unproductive.

7. Repressive desublimation
Political theorist Herbert Marcuse was a big fan of Freud and lived through the social upheavals of the 1960s. He wanted to explain how societies could go through periods of social liberation, like the countercultures and revolutions of the mid-twentieth century, and yet still remain under the (often strict) control of governments and corporations. How could the U.S. have gone through all those protests in the 60s but never actually overthrown the government? The answer, he decided, was a peculiar emotional state known as “repressive desublimation.” Remember, Freud said sublimation is when you route your sexual energies into something non-sexual. But Marcuse lived during a time when people were very much routing their sexual energies into sex — it was the sexual liberation era, when free love reigned. People were desublimating. And yet they continued to be repressed by many other social strictures, coming from corporate life, the military, and the government. Marcuse suggested that desublimation can actually help to solidify repression. It acts as an escape valve for our desires so that we don’t attempt to liberate ourselves from other social restrictions. A good example of repressive desublimation is the intense partying that takes place in college. Often, people in college do a lot of drinking, drugging and hooking up — while at the same time studying very hard and trying to get ready for jobs. Instead of questioning why we have to pay tons of money to engage in rote learning and get corporate jobs, we just obey the rules and have crazy drunken sex every weekend. Repressive desublimation!

8. Aporia
You know that feeling of crazy emptiness you get when you realize that something you believed isn’t actually true? And then things feel even more weird when you realize that actually, the thing you believed might be true and might not — and you’ll never really know? That’s aporia. The term comes from ancient Greek, but is also beloved of post-structuralist theorists like Jacques Derrida and Gayatri Spivak. The reason modern theorists love the idea of aporia is that it helps to describe the feeling people have in a world of information overload, where you are often bombarded with contradictory messages that seem equally true.

9. Compersion
We’ve gotten into some pretty philosophical territory, so now it’s time to return to some good, old-fashioned internet memes. The word compersion was popularized by people in online communites devoted to polyamory and open relationships, in order to describe the opposite of feeling jealous when your partner dates somebody else. Though a monogamous person would feel jealous seeing their partner kiss another person, a non-monogamous person could feel compersion, a sense of joy in seeing their partner happy with another person. But monogamous people can feel compersion, too, if we extend the definition out to mean any situation where you feel the opposite of jealous. If a friend wins an award you hoped to win, you can still feel compersion (though you might be a little jealous too).

10. Group feelings
Some psychologists argue that there are some feelings we can only have as members of a group — these are called intergroup and intragroup feelings. Often you notice them when they are in contradiction with your personal feelings. For example, many people feel intergroup pride and guilt for things that their countries have done, even if they weren’t born when their countries did those things. Though you did not fight in a war, and are therefore not personally responsible for what happened, you share in an intergroup feeling of pride or guilt. Group feelings often cause painful contradictions. A person may have an intragroup feeling (from one group to another) that homosexuality is morally wrong. But that person may personally have homosexual feelings. Likewise, a person may have an intragroup feeling that certain races or religions are inferior to those of their group. And yet they may personally know very honorable, good people from those races and religions whom they consider friends. A group feeling can only come about through membership in a group, and isn’t something that you would ever have on your own. But that doesn’t mean group feelings are any less powerful than personal ones.

What do psychologists do…?

Extracted from Wikipedia….

Psychologists explore concepts such as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. Psychologists of diverse stripes also consider the unconscious mind.[7] Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a “hub science”,[8] with psychological findings linking to research and perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, and the humanities, such as philosophy.