#3. Aphasia - Life is a Musical
If you've ever walked through a cornfield or a suspiciously well-lit back alley and had the sudden, inexplicable urge to break out into song you're probably: A) in a drunken blackout (which explains the corn field), or B) living in a musical. It's a world where everyone belts their internal monologues and gang fights turn into homoerotic ballets.
As obnoxious as it all seems, this is all a part of normal life in the world of musicals, which of course have nothing to do with reality...
...unless of course you live with Aphasia. The disorder is characterized by the sudden lack of language comprehension or inability to speak clearly and is typically caused by a stroke. However, studies showed that Aphasic patients who could still form words were easier to understand if they sang instead of spoke. Even some who were totally unable to speak could still sing songs and communicate that way.
Living an Aphasic life (which incidentally sounds like a great title for a song from a Broadway musical) would be like living in a musical all the time, where even the most mundane aspects of communication are sung, hopefully in key and without the exuberant costumes. It probably sounds like fun, until you are really really pissed off and are trying to get someone to take you seriously.
#2. Syndrome of Delusional Companions - My Sandwich is Talking to Me
In Night at the Museum, Ben Stiller plays a nighttime security guard at the Museum of Natural History. On his first night on the job, the once funny Zoolander star discovers all the museum's exhibits come to life thanks to a cursed Egyptian tablet also housed in the building (typical). Throughout the film, the various exhibits create comedic trouble as Stiller tries to control them. Hilarity kind of ensues.
Also see: any Pixar film where everything from toys to cars chat it up when humans aren't around.
Your life can too be a humorless vehicle for the final death knell of Ben Stiller's comedic talent... that is if you suffer from Delusional Companion Syndrome. Imagine for a moment that every inanimate object around you was a sentient being, with its own hopes and dreams and could actually speak to you. For some victims of Alzheimer's disease, that is their everyday life.
Recently, psychiatrists have found a rare complication in Alzheimer's patients where the afflicted believe comforting inanimate objects such as a favorite Hummel figurine or a half-used tube of Bengay are sentient and chatty. While a home full of pals actually might seem like an improvement for a lonely old woman, it surely does give one pause when reaching for the toilet paper.
#1. Reduplicative Paramnesia - The World is an Illusion
If there's one sci-fi mindfuck more common than the evil twin, it's this one. You've got The Matrix, eXistenZ and The Thirteenth Floor where (SPOILER!) the world turns out to be a computer-generated simulation. Then you have Vanilla Sky where Tom Cruise finds out his life has been (ALSO SPOILER!) a dream induced by a cryogenic sleep. And then there's The Truman Show where Jim Carrey finds out his whole world is a gigantic set for a reality show he didn't know he was starring in.
If you wake up tomorrow and get the odd feeling that your bedroom is not in fact your bedroom but has been meticulously replaced by someone, odds are you are not in the Matrix but simply have Reduplicative Paramnesia.
It is a malfunction in the memory centers of the brain, normally stemming from some kind of head injury, that causes patients to believe a location they currently inhabit has somehow been duplicated. For instance, they may perceive that the hospital room they are lying in is really inside their dining room, while the real room still exists in the hospital, but is empty.
Sometimes they'll even believe the hospital itself is located in their home town when it actually isn't. When questioned as to how that could be possible, patients have explained that their current surroundings are obviously an exact copy of the real place and will further claim that the same staff work at both locations in order to complete the illusion.
Once more this condition is very rare, so keep that in mind if you intend to use it as an excuse to call in for work tomorrow ("Look, boss, you and I both know I'm already at work. It's not my fault you've disguised the Burger King to look like my apartment, and replaced the french fry station with an Xbox playing Call of Duty").
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For more from Cracked's Psych Department, check out 5 Mental Disorders That Can Totally Get You Laid and 6 Mental Illness Myths Hollywood Wants You to Believe.
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