5 Of The World’s Weirdest Mental Disorders

Published June 3, 2014
Updated September 12, 2018

Mental Disorders: The Cannibal Disease

Person Eating Human Flesh

Image Source: Blogspot

Remember that crack in the introduction about not being a cannibal? This is where it pays off. Wendigo psychosis is marked by an all-but-irresistible craving for human flesh, which is perfectly normal if you are, say, a mountain lion, but a little weird if you’re human.

Wendigo is another one of those maddeningly culture-specific disorders that almost exclusively strikes populations of Northern Algonquin people, largely in the Great Lakes region.

In these cultures, the Wendigo is a supernatural creature with a taste for human flesh. Symptoms usually begin in winter as an exaggerated form of cabin fever and involve—ironically—an initial loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Eventually the victim comes to believe that he has become a Wendigo, will crave human flesh, and will sometimes attempt suicide to keep from “infecting” others.

The first written description of the phenomenon was penned in 1722, and the number of cases since then has been so small that some researchers suggest that the disorder is actually more myth than reality.

 

Next up: If deciding what to wear was as difficult as assembling a nuclear bomb…

Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton is a freelance science and technology writer from Sacramento, California.