Our personality traits are not so different

We all have odd little habits and we think that these little quirks apply only to us. But what if I were to tell you that some of these weird habits are actually documented medical conditions? Some go through their entire lives and don't even realize that they are experiencing something that other people go through as well. After all, we are all humans and we have many similarities – both physical and psychological. Without further ado, let's take a quick look at some of these rather afflictions.

1. Paruresis


Imagine the following. You are at a restaurant and you have to go to the bathroom. Now, you are standing over a stall and you are just about to go when suddenly another gentleman walks in. For some reason, you just can't do it. What's even worse, the other man comes next to you in order to do his business. You're starting to feel embarrassed. Did somebody turn on the heat, why is it suddenly so hot? Now you are thinking that the other man is wondering why you are just standing there and doing nothing. Then you just zip up, wash your hands and go outside to wait for the man to walk out so you can go back and finish what you've started without being disturbed.

Paruresus, also known as “toilet stage fright”, is a condition that affects a lot of people worldwide – not just you. Sufferers are unable to go number one in front of others. It is more common in men but sometimes women are affected as well. Roughly 7% of the population on Earth has paruresis. In the most severe cases, sufferers are able to go to the toilet only at their homes.

2. Involuntary expression disorder

Involuntary expression disorder

This one is quite curious. Imagine the following scenario. You are at your beloved aunt's funeral. All your relatives have gathered to say goodbye and to pay their respects. They are all dressed in black and there is some depressing music as background. They all look sad and some of them are crying their eyes out while the coffin is being lowered into the ground. Suddenly, you realize that you are suppressing a smile. Why would you even want to smile in such moment? Then you are trying not to chuckle. In just a few moments, it takes all that you are not to burst into a maniacal laughter. Jesus, what is wrong with you?

Involuntary emotional expression disorder, that's what. You guessed it, this condition is exactly what you think it is. Sufferers have the opposite reaction of what is expected from them in a curtain situation. For example, becoming depressed when hearing some great news or feeling the urge to laugh when something bad happens. Say your dad is yelling at you for skipping some school and you are laughing in his face and the more he talks the funnier it gets. That never happened to you? But finding pleasure in other people's misfortune is entirely separate expression disorder called katagelasticism. That's right, there is a scientific term for being a major jerk.

3. Onychophagia


Also known as “stop biting your nails, you are disgusting”, onychophagia is among the most common medical conditions in the world. It is a bad habit that looks gross and it can destroy your life... literally. If it becomes too severe, nail biting can have a devastating effect on the sufferers life. The cuticles can be damaged irreparably and some damage will be inflicted upon the teeth as well. It is a great way to transfer bacteria into your mouth but it can also severely lower the sufferers self-esteem and affect his social life. To put it in simple words – just don't do it. There are many forms of treatment including applying nail polish that tastes really gross, thus discouraging the sufferer to continue with the habit.

4. Alexithymia


Have you ever heard a girl complaining about how her boyfriend doesn't open up to her? Probably, only a million times. “He just seems so distant!”, “He won't share anything with me!” and so on and so on. Does this ring a bell? Believe it if you want to but at least half of these cases can be explained by the condition known as alexithymia. People who are unable to express and even fully understand their emotions are diagnosed with it.

This condition affects mostly men and sufferers tend to have less of an imagination. These people usually have very realistic view of life in general. Even their goals and dreams are way to realistic, like going to a restaurant to have dinner. Not, like, going to a fancy place dressed all stylish to have a great meal with a beautiful girl and then party the whole night – just dinner. You get the idea.

5. Obsessive-compulsive disorder.


So, you are about to go to bed and you set your alarm clock. Then you go to brush your teeth and you go back to bed. Suddenly, you start to doubt yourself. “Did I set the alarm clock?” pops up in your mind and you get up to see if you did. Then you set it up five or six times in a roll just to be sure that you did. You leave in the morning and 30 steps down the street you start to doubt yourself once again. “Did I lock the door?” you are asking yourself. Then, you go back to check if you did. What's even worse, you realize that you are being illogical but you can't seem to stop worrying unless you double check things.

You are far from being the only one suffering from OCD. This condition is categorized as an anxiety disorder and it is as common as asthma or diabetes. Sufferers experience intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and feel the urge to act seemingly pointless habits (compulsions). Often, these thoughts and habits turn the life of the sufferer into a nightmare. Some people become obsessed with cleanliness and engage into excessive cleaning of their homes. Others spend a lot of money on ordering professional cleaning services from companies such as cleaners in Barking. Some become obsessed with religious topics and fear the divine judgement. Hoarders, stalkers, cleaners, doubsters, double checkers – all of them have OCD without even realizing it. Treatment is possible, there are many ways to lower stress and anxiety.