Στήλη: Health-Diet

Infectious Diseases… Yes or Not?

By Bakou Sophie, Ntomari Eleni

In this day and age, infectious diseases are increasing exponentially, thus affecting both human lives and the social economy immensely, which can be convicted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Although the spreading of such diseases has indisputably significant concerns, there are also valid advantages about it. In this essay, both aspects of the issue will be examined.


First of all, an immense benefit ensuring from the massive spreading of a contagious disease is herd immunity. This means that a large proportion of the general population, after ailing with this illness, acquires antibodies, becoming consequently less vulnerable to being infected with that specific strain in the future. Furthermore, the constant spreading of a disease could work as an incentive for the pharmacological industries to promptly develop both new treatments aimed at curing the cases and vaccination to prevent further contagion of the disease. As a result, the international community would vastly benefit from the aforementioned, as not only would potential cures for the specific diseases be discovered, but it also opens the way for further medical breakthroughs through vaccinations and innovations.

On the other hand, there are several reasons behind the scepticism about the issue. First of all, the spreading of a disease inevitably leads to people’s suffering or even their death, especially to the delicate ones, such as the old or people which chronic diseases. Moreover, even if a patient does not die, an infectious disease can cause long-lasting sequelae, which may afflict people for the rest of their lives, rendering them more prone to further illnesses.

In addition, apart from suffering and death, infectious diseases result also in severe economic implications. More specifically, a prodigious amount of money is required in such cases, which includes the general financial pressure provoked upon the governments to aid the health system, as well as the scientific research for vaccinations and potential treatments.

Talking the aforementioned into consideration, we firmly believe that the negative effects caused by the spreading of a contagious disease outweigh the positive ones, as human lives should be prioritized above each and every possible scientific breakthrough. Therefore, measures should be taken in order to prevent the further contagion of the disease, but always in accordance with the financial security of society.












Consuming Fast Food

By Orestis Kremis


Despite its indisputable bad consequences on human body, fast food consumption is gaining ground. Why do people still continue eating such harmful food even though experts have warned them about the negative impact on their precious health? What can be done to put an end?

There are a plethora of reasons why people have bad eating habits. Initially, most people have such busy schedules that they don’t have any free time to cook homemade food, thus ending up consuming big amounts of fast food, which contain sugar and fats that make them addicted. As a matter of fact, most people especially the young cannot resist the taste that such food has and not only that but also they do not particularly love eating fruits and vegetables which will enable them to acquire better health and become much stronger. Therefore, they end up having heart attacks, diabetes or even cancer! Needless to say, adverts contribute to persuading people to consume fast food on a daily basis. They advertise tantalizing dishes which tempt everyone to try!!

Hence, health experts should make a huge attempt to prevent people from consuming fast food. Through ads or health seminars they can make everybody realize that they have to follow a balanced, healthy diet in order to keep themselves fit. Should they follow a diet which is rich in vitamins, minerals and all the nutrients needed, they will have a healthy body. Suffice it to say, schools can play an active role as well. Not only could teachers impart knowledge to their students but they should also instill in them health values which will make them adopt healthy eating habits and as a result developing both their mental and physical state!

Overall, there is no reason whatsoever why people should not realize the gravity of the situation and react quickly enough! It is essential that everybody try their very best with a view to effecting a change in people’s perception towards fast food. Were we to break this bad habit of consuming fast food, we would definitely have an opportunity of leading a much healthier life of our own!


By Askouni Ioanna, Zirou Dionysia & Erda Eleni


Mental health conditions affect millions of people in every part of our planet. In fact, according to research conducted by the World Health Organization, one in four people worldwide suffer from a mental disorder. Over the last year, mental disorders are the second most common illnesses after the heart diseases. Here are some of the strangest mental disorders out there:



Those with Stendhal syndrome experience physical and emotional anxiety as well as panic attacks, dissociative experiences, confusion and hallucinations when exposed to art. These symptoms are usually triggered when the individual is exposed to large quantities of art that are concentrated in a single place, such as a museum or gallery. However, individuals may experience similar reactions to beauty in nature. This syndrome is named after a 19th century French author who experienced the symptoms during a trip to Florence in 1817.  Stendhal syndrome may also be called hyperculturemia or Florence syndrome. It has been described by Italian psychiatrist Graziella Magherini who observed over a hundred similar cases among tourists in Florence, who suffered a heart attack while admiring artworks and phenomena of great beauty.

Patient’s experience

“I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty … I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations … Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. Ah, if I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call “nerves’. Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling…”



Capgras delusion is a psychiatric disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member (or pet) has been replaced by an identical impostor. It is named after Joseph Capgras (1873–1950), a French psychiatrist. The delusion most commonly occurs in individuals diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but has also been seen in brain injury, dementia with Lewy bodies and other dementia. It presents often in individuals with a neurodegenerative disease, particularly at an older age. It has also been reported as occurring in association with diabetes, hypothyroidism, and migraine attacks. In one isolated case, the Capgras delusion was temporarily induced in a healthy subject by the drug ketamine. It occurs more frequently in females, with a female to male ratio of approximately 3 to 2. It is generally agreed that the Capgras delusion has a complex and organic basis (caused by structural damage to organs) and can be better understood by examining neuroanatomical damage associated with the syndrome.

Patient’s experience

Diane was a 28-year-old single woman who was seen for an evaluation at a day hospital program in preparation for discharge from a psychiatric hospital. This was her third psychiatric admission in the past five years. Always shy and reclusive, Diane first became psychotic at age 23. Following an examination by her physician, she began to worry that the doctor had damaged her internally and that she might never be able to become pregnant. The patient’s condition improved with neuroleptic treatment but deteriorated after discharge because she refused medication. When she was admitted eight months later, she presented with delusions that a man was making exact copies of people—»screens». The diagnosis was schizophrenia with Capgras delusion. She was disheveled and had a bald spot on her scalp from self-mutilation.       - Sinkman, 2008



Aien hand syndrome is a phenomenon in which one hand is not under control of the mind. Th e person loses control of the hand, and it acts as if it has a mind of its own. Th e etiology includes neurosurgery, tumor, aneurysms, and rarely stroke. This case is presented to create awareness of this interesting clinical scenario, which can be terrifying to the patients and confusing to the physicians who are not aware of it.

 Patient’s experience 

A 77-year-old woman presented with the complaint of observing her left hand moving without her knowledge while watching television. Her left hand stroked her face and hair as if somebody was controlling it. These movements lasted only half an hour but on recovery, she had left hemiparesis. Alien hand syndrome as the presentation of cardioembolic stroke is extremely rare but can be terrifying to patients.



Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder (MPD),is a mental disorder characterized by having at least two distinct and relatively enduring personality states.The disorder is accompanied by memory gaps beyond what would be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.The personality states alternately show in a person’s behavior ;however, presentations of the disorder vary. Other conditions that often occur in people with DID include post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders (especially borderline and avoidant), depression, substance use disorders, conversion disorder, somatic symptom disorder, eating disorders, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and sleep disorders. Self-harm, non-epileptic seizures, flashbacks with amnesia for content of flashbacks, anxiety disorders, and suicidality are also common.

Patient” s experience

As a child, Jeni was repeatedly raped and tortured by her father, Richard Haynes, in what Australian police say is one of the worst child abuse cases in the country.To cope with the horror, her mind used an extraordinary tactic – creating new identities for her to detach from the pain. The abuse was so extreme and so persistent, she says she ultimately generated 2,500 distinct personalities to survive. And in the landmark trial in March, Jeni confronted her father to present evidence against him through her personalities, including a four-year-old girl named Symphony. We weren’t scared. We had waited such a long time to tell everyone exactly what he did to us and now he couldn’t shut us up,» she said.





Colon Cancer Prevention

By Chris Papandrikopoulos


Colon cancer is a tumor of the large intestine (colon). It is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States. However, most people with colon cancer get better if the cancer is found early. Rectal cancer is a type of colon cancer that starts at the end of the large intestine, which is called the rectum. The term colorectal cancer is used for cancer of the colon or rectum.

Colon cancer can cause blood in the stool, stomach pain, and a change in bowel movements (such as a change in the size of your stool). Some people do not have any symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, it is more likely that the tumor will not be found and will continue to grow. Screening tests can find cancer and small tumors called polyps (POL-ips) that can turn into cancer over time. Healthy people 50 years and older should get screened. You should continue screening until you are 75 years old. If you have symptoms of colon cancer or if you are at risk of colon cancer, your doctor may suggest getting screened before 50 years of age. You are at higher risk of colon cancer if you have a parent or sibling who has or had colon cancer, polyps, or other less common conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

There are several kinds of screening tests for colon cancer. Some can be done at home, and some are done at a doctor’s office. They range in cost and the type of preparation needed before the test.

  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
  • Colonoscopy
  • Guaiac-based fecal occult blood test
  • Multitargeted stool DNA test (FIT-DNA)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • CT colonography

The only way to prevent colon cancer is to find polyps early and have them removed. Eating more calcium and dairy, eating less red meat, increasing physical activity, losing weight if you are overweight, and taking statins (medicines for high cholesterol) may lower the risk of getting polyps and colon cancer. Taking aspirin or ibuprofen may lower your risk of getting polyps and colon cancer. But, aspirin and ibuprofen may also cause kidney problems or bleeding in your stomach. Aspirin is only recommended for people 50 to 69 years of age who are at higher risk of heart disease and who are willing to take aspirin for at least 10 years to get the full benefit. Women who have gone through menopause may lower their risk of colon cancer by taking hormones. But, hormones have side effects, including blood clots and a higher risk of breast cancer. Taking fiber, folic acid, or antioxidants (for example, vitamin A) does not change the risk of getting polyps or colon cancer.




 By Maya Chronopoulou & Nikoletta Spiliotopoulou 


Did you know that our soul is a miniature of all the systems and organs of our body? Although, this statement seems to exist in the realm of fantasy, the truth is that a whole alternative medical practice has evolved from it : reflexology. The two widely accepted definition of reflexology are : << a gentle manipulation or pressing  on certain parts of the foot to produce an effect elsewhere in the body>> and << a system applying pressure, usually to the feet, which practitioners believe stimulates energy and releases ‘’blockages’’ that cause pain or illness.

Even though, reflexology started to gain popularity in the late 20 century, practices similar to it date back in Chinese and Egyptian history. Additionally, since 1900s doctors and specialists discovered the anesthetic effect that pressure can cause to numerous arias of the body and that the entire human body was mapped into reflexes on our feet. Based on the previous mentioned, modern practitioners  use a targeted  pressure-point message, in order to provoke a flow of energy and lead to a decongestion of our body. This technique is mostly focused on feet but in some cases it can be performed in hands and ears. Remarkable, is reflexology’s difference from message therapies whose goal is the relaxation of muscles, the elimination of tension.

Reflexology offers numerous benefits and it address to all ages, however, after the age of 75 the results are less effective and settle to a feeling relief. The beneficial results are perceivable through nerve stimulation and improvement in the functioning  of the circulatory  system which result in better health in general. Moreover, reflexology causes the elimination of toxins, the decrease of stress rates and the prevention of migraines ; what is meant by this, is that this practice is a form of relaxation. It fastens recovery  from an injury or a procedure and alleviates pain. Last but not least, reflexologists can help, not only with urinary systems and menstual’s disfuctions, but also with the recovery after giving birth.

After the completion of the therapy ,which consists of several meetings, the individual should feel no pain in the reflex on the foot, but also an improvement  on the system or  organ whose whose function they intended to ameliorate. It should be mentioned that reflexology is more of a supplementary form of practice but it is undouptable that it entails to numerous advantageous outcomes.



   Nowadays, it has been observed that a lot of people are more aware of the importance of being healthy. Especially, teenagers want to have an attractive appearance due to the fact that they would like to resemble like today’s idols.

However, many people think that being healthy is a difficult task that involves lots of dieting and time at the gym, but that’s not actually true! By making some simple tweaks to your routine and setting small goals for yourself, you can be on the path toward living a healthier, happier life. Those are some advice and tips:

  •  Having a healthy diet


Drink more water. Adults should drink 2–3 liters of water per day, while children should drink 1–2 liters.

BENEFITS: Water keeps bodies at the correct temperature and removes toxins. Moreover, it clears your skin, helps your kidneys, helps to control your appetite, and keeps you energized. It also keeps you from drinking unhealthy beverages like soda and juice, which are high in calories.


 Eat breakfast. A light, healthy breakfast is sufficient enough to reap the benefits of eating early. If it’s comprised of lean protein and whole grains, then it will keep you from gorging at lunch. It is advisable to choose eggs, fruit, and for a beverage like skimmed milk, fresh orange juice, or tea.

BENEFITS: The healthier and filling your breakfast is, the more energized you’ll feel throughout the day.


Eat well throughout the day. If half of your plate is vegetables and fruit, you’re on the right track. Add in lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.

BENEFITS: Remember that not all fats are bad for you. Good fats can be found in fish like salmon and tuna, avocados, nuts, and olive oil. These are essential to a well-balanced diet.


Limit simple sugars in your diet. While carbohydrates are an important part of your diet, simple sugar can be harmful to your health. It provides a quick energy spike that then bottoms out, causing you to feel hungry faster.


Talk to your doctor about incorporating supplements in your diet. Supplements can make sure you get all of the vitamins and nutrients you need. Take your supplements with a meal to help them absorb better.


  • Having a Healthy Exercise Plan


Get in shape. So hit the pool for a swim, the pavement for a walk or jog, or the park for a hike as often as you can.

BENEFITS: It helps you to lose weight and gain confidence. Furthermore, exercising boosts your immune system and helps you feeling more cheerful.


Maintain a healthy weight. Our physical frames vary in size and weight. An individual with a large frame can carry a little more weight while a person with a light frame will be able to carry less.


Take advantage of opportunities to be active. Being physically active isn’t about pounding the pavement or joining a gym. For example, park a bit farther away from work, the mall entrance, or the grocery store. Ride a bike to work or school. Take the stairs.


  • Being Emotionally Healthy


Think positively. It’s amazing how much power our minds have over everything in our lives. A simple positive twist on a situation can turn an obstacle into an opportunity.

BENEFITS: Not only will you have more gusto for life, your immune system can fight off colds and heart disease better!


Think small. When we concentrate on unattainable goals, we get daunted, frustrated, and lazy. After all, why try to achieve something that will never happen?

BENEFITS: Being emotionally healthy (and happy) is easier to attain when you focus on the steps of your journey as opposed to the destination.


 Manage stress. A very healthy way of managing stress is doing yoga. Another useful way is to make sure to take ten minutes out of your day to just power down. Sit with yourself and just breathe. Make a point to get centered every day. When you feel stressed, do breathing exercises or breathe deeply to calm yourself and relax your body.

BENEFITS: You will be able to control your feelings and your psychology will be more stable.

Choose your friends wisely. Opt true friends who want you happy, they make you smile and cheer you up.  Spending time with your friends can improve your life. Be social as often as possible with the people who enrich your life.


Those are some things which we believe that will definitely enhance your daily life and your health.



By Evita Leontitsi


Nowadays, it is widely considered that a vegetarian diet is more efficient than the one including meat. Therefore, some people avoid eating meat in favor of a vegetable-based diet. There are several reasons contributing to the introduction of a new way of diet and, as a consequence, it is essential that they are taken into account.


First and foremost, people currently are arguably more aware of a healthy way of life. More specifically, a huge variety of studies provide efficient evidence that proves the significantly positive influence that a vegetarian diet can have on a human being. This fact accounts for the escalating desire of people for a healthy and quality lifestyle. Another argument put forward is that the overwhelming majority of livestock consume hazardous chemical substances put into their food. As a consequence, while eating meat, the human also consumes those chemicals, which can undeniably induce detrimental implications, such as a serious infection or disease.


Apart from the above mentioned arguments, there are also versatile reasons leading to a vegetarian diet with regards to ethics. In particular, when consuming meat, some animals suffer under appalling conditions and live in restricted areas. Moreover, many people assert the fact that animals have also rights and killing them can indisputably be regarded as an immoral action, due to the slaughtering they face. It is also pointed out that that meat includes – except for useful substances, such as proteins and metals – a great amount of fat, which is mostly responsible for obesity.


All in all, more and more people in recent years tend to prefer a vegetable-based diet to the one with meat. This can easily be explained by a variety of factors contributing to such a practice. From my own perspective, not only is a vegetarian diet an efficient and prevalent one, but it can actually be very beneficial and less harmless as opposed to eating meat.


By Dionysia Kloukinioti, Ariana Stigka & Andreas Papadopoulos


Chocolate is a typically sweet, usually brown, food preparation of roasted and ground cacao seeds. It is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Olmecs (Mexico), with evidence of chocolate beverages dating to 1900 BC. The majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs. Indeed, the word «chocolate» is derived from the Classical Nahuatl word chocolātl.

The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cacao nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, unadulterated chocolate in rough form. Once the cocoa mass is liquefied by heating, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be cooled and processed into its two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Baking chocolate, also called bitter chocolate, contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions, without any added sugar. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or added vegetable oils, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids.

Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and a vast number of foodstuffs involving chocolate have been created, particularly desserts including cakes, pudding, mousse, chocolate brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. Many candies are filled with or coated with sweetened chocolate, and bars of solid chocolate and candy bars coated in chocolate are eaten as snacks. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes (e.g., eggs, hearts, coins) have become traditional on certain Western holidays, such as Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Hanukkah. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate and in some alcoholic drinks, such as creme de cacao.

Although cocoa originated in the Americas, recent years have seen African nations assuming a leading role in producing cocoa. Since the 2000s, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, with Ivory Coast growing almost half of that amount.




Chocolate has been prepared as a drink for nearly all of its history. For example, one vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico, dates chocolate’s preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BC. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokaya archaeological site provides evidence of cacao beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BC. The residues and the kind of vessel in which they were found indicate the initial use of cacao was not simply as a beverage, but the white pulp around the cacao beans was likely used as a source of fermentable sugars for an alcoholic drink.

An early Classic-period (460–480 AD) Mayan tomb from the site in Rio Azul had vessels with the Maya glyph for cacao on them with residue of a chocolate drink, suggests the Maya were drinking chocolate around 400 AD. Documents in Maya hieroglyphs stated chocolate was used for ceremonial purposes, in addition to everyday life. The Maya grew cacao trees in their backyards, and used the cacao seeds the trees produced to make a frothy, bitter drink.

By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica and adopted cacao into their culture. They associated chocolate with Quetzalcoatl, who, according to one legend, was cast away by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans, and identified its extrication from the pod with the removal of the human heart in sacrifice. In contrast to the Maya, who liked their chocolate warm, the Aztecs drank it cold, seasoning it with a broad variety of additives, including the petals of the Cymbopetalum penduliflorum tree, chile pepper, allspice, vanilla, and honey.

The Aztecs were not able to grow cacao themselves, as their home in the Mexican highlands was unsuitable for it, so chocolate was a luxury imported into the empire. Those who lived in areas ruled by the Aztecs were required to offer cacao seeds in payment of the tax they deemed «tribute». Cocoa beans were often used as currency. For example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost 100 cacao beans and one fresh avocado was worth three beans.

The Maya and Aztecs associated cacao with human sacrifice, and chocolate drinks specifically with sacrificial human blood. The Spanish royal chronicler Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, described a chocolate drink he had seen in Nicaragua in 1528, mixed with achiote (Bixa orellana): «because those people are fond of drinking human blood, to make this beverage seem like blood, they add a little achiote, so that it then turns red. … and part of that foam is left on the lips and around the mouth, and when it is red for having achiote, it seems a horrific thing, because it seems like blood itself.»






Several types of chocolate can be distinguished. Pure, unsweetened chocolate, often called «baking chocolate», contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, which combines chocolate with sugar.


Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that also contains milk powder or condensed milk. In the UK and Ireland, milk chocolate must contain a minimum of 20% total dry cocoa solids; in the rest of the European Union, the minimum is 25%.



White chocolate, although similar in texture to that of milk and dark chocolate, does not contain any cocoa solids. Because of this, many countries do not consider white chocolate as chocolate at all.»White chocolate» contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids.



Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to the cacao mixture. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration calls this «sweet chocolate», and requires a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor. European rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids .A higher amount of cocoa solids indicates more bitterness. Semisweet chocolate is a dark chocolate with a low sugar content. Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which some sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter and vanilla are added.[citation needed] It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking. It is also known to last for two years if stored properly. As of 2017, there is no high-quality evidence that dark chocolate affects blood pressure significantly or provides other health benefits



Unsweetened chocolate is pure chocolate liquor, also known as bitter or baking chocolate. It is unadulterated chocolate: the pure, ground, roasted chocolate beans impart a strong, deep chocolate flavor. It is typically used in baking or other products to which sugar and other ingredients are added. Raw chocolate, often referred to as raw cacao, is always dark and a minimum of 75% cacao. Poorly tempered or untempered chocolate may have whitish spots on the dark chocolate part, called chocolate bloom; it is an indication that sugar and/or fat has separated due to poor storage. It is not toxic and can be safely consumed.





 By Koutra Georgia, Andonopoulou Georgia,

Athanasopoulos Thanasis & Kaliakoudas Panagiotis


Health is a very important thing in our lives in order to achieve a long life-span without pain and issues. So, what do you really need in order to be healthy?

The first thing you need to be healthy is to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits on a regular basis. Also, it is very important to boil your food and not fry it. For a healthy diet you have to be able to avoid fast food and sweets. Homemade food is the best option to choose because you know what your food is made of. Finally, drinking a lot of water is an invaluable source of mental and physical well-being.

Another secret for a healthy lifestyle is the physical exercise. There are a lot of ways that you can exercise either at the gym or even at your own home. Running at least fifteen minutes per day will make you healthier and according to research it will make you happier. Nowadays, you can even exercise with the help of your smartphone. There are a couple of apps that you can download and they will show you what exercise to do and how much repetitions or minutes to dedicate. Furthermore, you need to be very concentrated while you exercise so you don’t get injured and don’t forget to work out regularly.

To sum up, combining a healthy diet and a daily exercise is the most beneficial way to live healthily. Eat healthy and work out!



The Peculiar World of Mental Disorders

  By Koytra Eleni, Pantazopoulou Andriani & Chatzi Aggeliki 


A mental disorder, also called a mental illnessor psychiatric disorder, is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines. The use of the term «mental» (i.e., of the mind) is not necessarily meant to imply separateness from brain or body. There are many different categories of mental disorders, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders: In which anxiety, irrational stress, or fear interfere with the sufferer’s normal functioning. Most well-known of this category are  phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and  post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Mood disorders: In which certain affective (mood/emotion) processes are damaged. Well-known examples of such disorders are major depression (also known as unipolar or clinical depression), bipolar disorder and dysthymia.
  • Psychotic disorders:  In which patterns of belief, language use and perception of reality can become disordered. Most common are schizophrenia and delusional disorder
  • Personality disorders: In which the fundamental characteristics of a person that influence thoughts and behaviors across situations and time are damaged for a long period of time. There are three main sub-categories of personality disorders:
  • The «eccentric», such as paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders
  • The «dramatic» or «emotional», such as antisocial, borderline, histrionic or narcissistic personality disorders
  • The  fear-related, such as anxious-avoidant, dependent, or obsessive-  compulsive personality disorders
  • Eating disorders:  In which the patient develops a disproportionate concern in matters of food and weight. Some such disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, exercise bulimia and binge-eating disorder.
  •  Sleep disorders such as insomnia, which involve disruption to normal sleep patterns, or a feeling of tiredness despite sleep appearing normal
  • Impulse control disorders: In which the sufferer is abnormally unable to resist certain urges or impulses that could be harmful to themselves or others. Most well-known from this category are kleptomania, pyromania and certain types of addiction.
  • Substance use disorders: In which a person is dependent on/abusing mostly illegal substances, such as alcohol, drugs or cigarettes
  • Dissociative identity disorders: In which the patient experiences severe disturbances of their self-identity, memory and general awareness of themselves and their surroundings. Most common are depersonalization disorderDissociative Identity Disorder (which has also been called multiple personality disorder, or «split personality”), amnesia and dementia.
  • Developmental disorders: They manifest during childhood. Most common are autism spectrum disorders, such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  Now we are going to focus on some peculiar and rare mental disorders, which can be so singular and perplexing that they weren’t even accepted as legitimate disorders until recently. Some change the way language is used and perceived. Other unusual disorders do the same to vision or motor skills. And some are so bizarre that they alter a patient’s accent or make them believe they’re an entirely different species. Sufferers of these illnesses can lose control of their limbs, see afterimages everywhere, think their loved ones are imposters, and – in one inexplicable case – are made violently ill by the sound of one TV news anchor’s voice.

  • Aboulomania: This generally unknown mental disorder is characterized by crippling indecision, or as psychiatrists calls it, “paralysis of the will.” Sufferers of aboulomania appear mentally normal in all aspects of life. Yet, when faced with simple life choices like whether to wear a jacket or not, they run into major psychological problems to the point that they experience anxiety and may even find it difficult to regain normal function. Many sufferers say their chronic indecision originates from the need for 100% certainty—hence the sufferer can become paralyzed in the inability to fulfill his own free will when confronted with more than one choice. The condition has also been associated with depressive and obsessive-compulsive disorders.


  • Cotard’s syndrome (walking corpse syndrome): is a specific nihilistic delusion named after Jules Cotard, a French neurologist, who first described the condition, which he called le délire de négation (negation delirium), in 1880. The affected person holds the delusional belief that he or she is already dead, does not exist, is putrefying or has lost his or her blood or internal organs. It is most frequently observed in patients with psychotic depression or schizophrenias and is managed by focusing on the treatment of the underlying disorder. In 2015 a seventeen-year-old girl from Alabama overcame this disorder with the help of Disney movies. She had thought she was dead for three years and only became convinced that she was alive only because of the warm and fuzzy feeling she got from watching Disney cartoons


  • Capgrass syndrome: Named after a French psychiatrist who described the illusion of doubles, capgrass syndrome is a delusion of misidentification. which manifests as a reoccurring false perception that an acquaintance (usually a spouse or family member) has been replaced by an identical impostor or group of impostors. Capgras syndrome occurs most often in patients with schizophrenia, although it has also been reported in patients with dementia or epilepsy and after traumatic brain injury. It is also more common amongst women than men. In 2011, a woman refused to pick up her daughter from school because, as she insisted, the teachers should give her her “real child” back instead of the “fake”.


  • Fregoli syndrome: It’s the inverse of Capgras syndrome, named after the Italian actor Leopoldo Fregoli, who was renowned for his ability to make quick changes of appearance during his stage act. It is also a delusion of misidentification and is characterized by a person’s delusional belief that persecutors or familiar people can assume the guise of strangers, in that different people are in fact a single person who changes his or her appearance or who appears in disguise. As in Capgras syndrome, Fregoli syndrome occurs most often in patients with schizophrenia, although it has also been reported in patients with dementia or epilepsy and after traumatic brain injury.


  • Alien hand syndrome: Also known as “Dr. Strangelove Syndrome”, after the mad scientist unable to control his Nazi-saluting arm in the Stanley Kubrick film, this rare disorder is the misattribution and belief that one’s hand does not belong to oneself, but that it has its own life. The afflicted person has normal sensation but believes that the hand, while still being a part of their body, is acting autonomously, having «a will of its own.» In effect, afflicted people lose the sense of «ownership» of the limb, while often personifying it, believing it to be «possessed» by some spirit or entity. There is a clear distinction between the behaviors of the 2 hands in which the affected hand is viewed as «wayward» while the unaffected hand is under normal volitional control. Alien hand syndrome is usually caused by stroke or other brain damage, particularly in the areas of the corpus callosum, or frontal or parietal lobes. Such a condition can often be traumatic for the sufferer who is terrified that their rogue arm might start exhibiting inappropriate behavior in public, like groping others or manipulating objects or tools. “I would make a telephone call and this hand would hang up the phone…I would light a cigarette and this one would put it out. I would be drinking coffee and this hand would dump it,” patient Karen Byrne described


  • Autophagia (Self cannibalism/autosarcophagy/Lesch-Nyhan syndrome): It is a disorder in which a person exhibits self-mutilating behavior or less commonly the consumption of his own body parts in a rare condition called autosarcophagy.  Lesch-Nyhan affects the joints, muscles and brain of the sufferer as a result of the overproduction of uric acid in the body, leading to compulsive lip and finger biting in the majority of cases. Consequently, in 60 percent of cases, patients have to have their teeth removed to prevent them from biting off their lips, cheeks and tongues. The condition, occurring almost exclusively in boys, has been related to impulse control disorders in general and can range from mild to life threatening. One example of autophagia is the case of one man whose condition apparently began by merely biting his own nails—but ended up with such a problem that he severely mutilated his fingers.


  • Lycanthropy: Sufferers of the psychopathological phenomenon Lycanthropy actually believe they are an animal or at least being transformed into one. The condition is often classified as a self-identity disorder subdivided into various types. Scientists believe the disorder can originate in a dream before enveloping the entire awakened mind of the individual. Boanthropy is an aspect of this strange delusional disorder whereby a person believes himself to be a cow or an ox. Some people think that the disorder usually starts out as a dream and goes on to pervade the waking mind, eventually taking hold as a full-blown delusion. It’s possible that the condition can be induced by hypnotism, provided that the subject is more than a little suggestible. Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, is generally thought to have suffered from this condition—at least according to the Book of Daniel, which states that he “was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen.”


  • Foreign accent syndrome: Is a very rare disorder characterized by the sudden and unexpected appearance of a seemingly “foreign” accent, which often occurs after some kind of brain injury like a stroke or head injury. The sufferer will begin speaking her native language in a foreign tongue. There have been 50 recorded cases of this syndrome, which apparently has no clear cause or cure, since the 1940s. The condition can last a few hours or become permanent. Imagine being born British only to one day wake up with a Chinese accent. That is exactly what happened to Sarah Colwill, a British woman hospitalized for an intense migraine who after surgery awoke with a Chinese accent, which changed her whole life having to deal with other people’s bewildered reactions and come to terms with her new voice.Linda Walker, 50, recalls waking from a stroke to find that her English Geordie accent had been transformed into a Jamaican one: «I’ve lost my identity, because I never talked like this before. I’m a very different person and it’s strange and I don’t like it,” she told the BBC.


  • Landau-Kleffner syndrome: Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) is a rare form of epilepsy, which usually begins in children between 2 and 8 years old and affects both sexes equally, especially children with previous age-appropriate development. The language disorder may start suddenly or slowly. It usually affects the child’s understanding of spoken language the most, although it may affect both understanding speech and speaking ability, or speaking only.


  • Synesthesia: This neurological phenomenon occurs when stimulation of one sense leads to involuntary experiences in another sense or a “union of the senses,” where for example taste and sound are mixed together. Some people experience colour when they hear sounds or read words and may be able to answer a question like «What color is 4?». This condition is most useful to artists, with Pharrell Williams and Lady Gaga being both famous synesthetes. In some cases, a person may mix sound and taste so that different noises have a taste in any combination. The condition isn’t considered a disease or much of an illness since its effects are not negative. «One thing we have found is that synesthetes are not a different class of people, they simply have more explicit experiences,» Julia Simner, co-author of The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia told the Guardian. «It’s a more extreme manifestation of what all of us experience.”


Here’s an additional explanatory video if you want to get to know more about synesthesia:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEqmNX8uKlA        


In conclusion, the human mind never ceases to amaze us with all its complexity. It is the most complex machine ever created; and the most ubiquitous. Although  everyone has one, we still have little to no understanding of how it works. Even its illnesses and flaws can be fascinating. Those listed are only a few of the wonderful yet monstrous things that are likely to happen once something goes wrong with it. We all hope we inspired you to dive further into this peculiar world.    



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_disorder http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/recognizing-warning-signs https://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/rare-psych#4 https://www.alternet.org/personal-health/12-quirky-mental-disorders-you-havent-heard-about https://listverse.com/2013/05/06/10-more-bizarre-psychological-disorders/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPOkuDm7LtM https://www.google.gr/search?q=walking+corpse+syndrome&client=firefox-b-ab&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjf_encyKrYAhVMalAKHY2fDBoQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=635#imgrc=5sWXOMLW4tVQ_M: https://www.google.gr/search?q=capgras+syndrome&client=firefox-b&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi61_aQzKrYAhXQh7QKHRrrABkQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=635#imgrc=WZXewEJw6OQswM: https://www.google.gr/search?q=boanthropy&client=firefox-b&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizlNPQ4qrYAhVIK1AKHRhcBhgQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=635#imgrc=p00p6tB9d6IoeM: https://www.google.gr/search?q=landeau+kleffner&rlz=1C1CHZL_elGB698GB698&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF8sD607LYAhWJbZoKHXRhDRcQ_AUICigB&biw=1396&bih=690#imgrc=zoYEaDk3-mUIvM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEqmNX8uKlA https://synesthesia.com/blog/index.php/what-is-synesthesia/