It's pretty easy these days to completely freak yourself out by researching various diseases and disorders on the internet.
No matter what symptoms you look up, they all seem to point towards cancer or another fatal disease. This is exactly why I don't take medical websites that help you self-diagnose too seriously -- I worry enough as it is, and don't need to add another heaping pile of panic to my plate. Unfortunately, I've recently had the displeasure of coming across a host of rare and strange disorders that have sent my anxiety skyrocketing.
Just hope that you never get any of these 12 bizarre medical conditions because they could seriously wreak havoc on your life.
1. Sleepy sickness, or encephalitis lethargica, causes a sudden inflammation of the brain. It basically turns people into living statues who can't move or speak. Even those who survive the condition have stayed in a permanent state of lethargy, often sitting in the same spot all day and not saying a word.
2. On the other side of the spectrum, chiari malformation happens when the skull is too small or misshapen and presses the brain downwards, which causes it to extend into the spinal canal. It's been known to almost completely stop people from sleeping, but thankfully it can be corrected with surgery.
3. Pure alexia, or alexia without agraphia, is a disorder that can make it impossible for people to read despite being able to identify and name individual letters. It is commonly caused by strokes and rehabilitation efforts have been mostly ineffective.
4. The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine were lumberjacks who exhibited a rare and unknown disorder in the 1800s. They basically obeyed any command given suddenly, no matter what it was. Nobody knows for sure what causes it.
5. Systemic capillary leak syndrome is a rare and life-threatening illness that causes fluid to leak out of the circulatory system, which results in low blood pressure and major swelling in the body. It can damage vital organs and even cause them to fail. Fortunately, people with the condition have a good chance of surviving if it gets treated in time.
6. Some people live believing that they're literal zombies because they have cotard delusion, or walking corpse syndrome. People affected by it are convinced that they're already dead and rotting or that they don't exist. It can be caused by traumatic brain damage and has been treated with antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizing drugs.
7. Wendigo psychosis is characterized by an intense and uncontrollable craving to eat human flesh even if other food sources are available. It allegedly originated and died out in the Algonquian tribes of North America, but many are skeptical that it actually exists.
8. Hypersexuality may just sound like a harmless increase in sex drive, but it's a compulsion that gives people uncontrollable urges to have sex. Like addiction, it can take over a person's life and make them forget about anything else.
9. Persistent genital arousal disorder may also seem pretty great, but just imagine never being able to stop climaxing, no matter what situation you're in. Arousal can last for days or weeks at a time, and orgasms only provide temporary relief. It has been linked to restless legs syndrome.
10. Parry-Romberg syndrome literally causes one side of your face to cave in from shrinking and degenerating tissue beneath the skin. It can't be reversed, but surgery can help restore a more normal appearance.
11. People who work in factories that manufacture silver are at risk of ingesting or inhaling it over a long period of time, which can bring on a condition called argyria. It causes a person's skin to turn blue. It isn't life-threatening, but the color also doesn't go away when the exposure stops.
12. Alien hand syndrome is just as strange as its name, because it causes a person's limbs to seemingly move on their own. People with the condition often have no control over the limb's actions, and sometimes even need to restrain it with their other hand. It can occur after brain surgery, stroke, infection, tumor, aneurysm, and degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer's. There is no cure.
(via 22 Words)