Funny Syndromes

Funny Syndromes

Funny syndrome as in amusing, and also funny as in peculiar.

Hula Hoop Intestine

In China, 21 years ago, Xu Denghai was admitted to a Beijing hospital with a twisted intestine caused by an excessive amount of time spent on his hula hooping hobby. The name was adopted and health warnings issued to other gyrating hula hoop fans that they must warm up properly before beginning - and make sure they never did it on a full stomach.

Dr Strangelove Syndrome

Taking its name from the title character in Stanley Kubrick's epic 1964 black comedy movie - a crazed weapons specialists who would jerk his hand up involuntarily at the most awkward moments, it's another name for Alien Hand Syndrome, the neurological condition in which a patient's hand or arm jerks out of control, often doing the exact opposite of what is expected.

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

Just like Alice's magical 'drink me' potion, sufferers perceiving a bizarre growth in body parts, or the body as a whole. In rare cases the patient may even think their body, or parts of it, are actually shrinking. As well as distorting the perception of objects, the syndrome can also distort time, sound, touch and make the ground feel sponge-like.

Uncombable Hair SyndromeFunny Hairstyles

This sounds like a childhood excuse, but is a genuine medical phenomenon. UHS was first diagnosed in France and can begin in childhood or occur suddenly in later life. The hair is often incredibly fine, leading to the nickname, 'spun-glass syndrome', and although it can be clean, knot free and kink free, the hair cannot be combed into any kind of order.  See more on 'Bad Hair Days'.

Exploding Head Syndrome

The patient believes there are loud noises - like bomb explosions, gun fire, or cymbals crashing, but they are only happening inside their own head. The symptoms usually occur as an individual is falling asleep, or has been asleep an hour or two. Sometimes the sounds can be accompanied by the perception of bright flashes and, understandably, can cause the patient extreme shock and anxiety.

Capgras Delusion

A disorder which makes a sufferer believe that a friend, partner, parent or other loved one has been replaced with an identical imposter. Named after Joseph Capgras, a French psychiatrist who first described the disorder in 1923, the condition can be short or long term and even disturb the perception of time itself.

Foreign Accent Syndrome

One of the most bizarre and rare neurological conditions, F A S is thought to be the result of damage to part of the speech centre of the brain. Florida woman Tiffany Roberts recovered from a stroke and could only speak in a stiff English accent, and started using very English terms such as 'loo', despite never having been to England or having known many English people. Karen Butler, a 56-year-old tax consultant from Toledo, Oregon, suffered from FAS after dental surgery - her American twang transforming into a broad Australian accent. There have been approximately 60 recorded cases around the world, which have included Japanese to Korean, English to French and Spanish to Hungarian.

Electric People

This weird condition was noted as far back as 1786. Sufferers generate electric charges capable of shorting electronic equipment or causing lights to explode. One recorded example of this was French girl Angelique Cotton, from Finistere in Brittany, who was said to have been able to generate massive static electricity which could attract or repel objects.

Walking Corpse Syndrome

This rare disorder sees people hold a delusional belief that they are dead or do not exist. In some cases they believe they are literally rotting away or have lost their blood or internal organs. Also known as 'Cotard delusion', in rare instances, it can even have the reverse effect and prompt delusions of immortality.Funny Phobias

Strange Phobias

  • Pediophobia - Fear of dolls.
  • Zemmiphobia - Fear of the great mole rat.
  • Consecotaleophobia - Fear of chopsticks.
  • Dendrophobia - Trepidation when amongst trees.
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - Fear of long words.
  • Nosocomephobia - Dread of hospitals.
  • Panophobia or Pantophobia - Fear of everything.
  • See more Strange Phobias

Not So Funny Syndrome: Chronic Lateness

Jim has been late for everything - late for work, late for football matches, late for holidays. He's left women stood waiting on a first date, turned up to meals with friends hours after he should have and even arrived for funerals long after they've begun. But now his poor timekeeping has been diagnosed as a medical condition - Chronic Lateness Syndrome. His family still don't believe him. They think he's just making excuses. But Jim says that knowing it's a real condition and that it's not his fault has really helped him.

See more on lateness humour »

Footnote: Please send us your funny syndromes.

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