Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Medical Disorders With Fairy Tale/Folklore Names

SurLaLune reader Meghan sent me an email yesterday in follow-up to my post about the Sleeping Beauty sleeping disorder.

Here is what she sent, slightly edited. Thanks Meghan for answering my call for a list like this!

I recently read your blog post about Sleeping Beauty syndrome, and I actually have a short list of medical conditions with fairy tale names.

1. Rapunzel syndrome--a rare condition where sufferers consume their own hair (Trichophagia). Because the human body cannot digest hair, it collects in the stomach/bowels/colon as a ball, known as a trichobezoar. The syndrome sometimes occurs alongside trichotillomania (the compulsion to pull out one's hair).

2. Cinderella complex--Ascribed to women who have a fear of independence, and a desire to be taken care of by others. This is not wildly accepted as a complex, but is used as an explanation as to why some women stay in dysfunctional relationships. To be honest, I'm not sure why it's called Cinderella syndrome.

3. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, also called Todd's syndrome "is a disorienting neurological condition that affects human perception. Sufferers may experience micropsia, macropsia, or size distortion of other sensory modalities." Read more on Wikipedia.

4. Ondine's Syndrome, or Ondine's Curse--People stop breathing when they sleep, it's a rare and very dangerous form of sleep apnea. Read more on Wikipedia.

I can add one more--Sirenomelia, commonly known as Mermaid syndrome, "a very rare congenital deformity in which the legs are fused together, giving them the appearance of a mermaid's tail." More on Wikipedia.

Anyone have any more?

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