Rarest/Uncommon mental disorders that you probably don't know exist (some new disorders in DSM5)

Cover Image for Rarest/Uncommon mental disorders that you probably don't know exist (some new disorders in DSM5)

Mental disorders are often misunderstood and there exist many myths about them. Mental disorders can be very damaging for people who are experiencing them hence it is always a good idea to know about them. Here we will discuss some rare mental disorders that you probably didn't know existed. But before that, it is crucial to understand that although these disorders might sound weird they are very much painful for the people experiencing them hence they should be treated with no less empathy or respect than any other person going through other common conditions.

So here are some of the weirdest or rare psychological disorders listed below.

Hoarding Disorder

Falls under the category of Obsessive-Compulsive and related disorder in the DSM5 and is characterized as a persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. In simple terms, people diagnosed with hoarding disorder hoards things as the name suggests, even if they are unimportant thinking they will need them sometime in the future. They feel distressed by the thought of discarding things. This hoarding of things naturally results in a cluttered and congested living area and affects the quality of life for that person. Individuals accumulate many items that fill up and clutter active living areas to the extent that their intended use is no longer possible.

Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder

Excoriation or skin picking disorder is another condition that falls under the category of Obsessive Compulsive and Related disorders in the DSM5 classification. It is characterized by recurrent picking of one’s skin which results in skin lesions. Individuals may pick the skin from multiple areas of the body however the most common areas are the face, arms, and hands. They spend a significant amount of time on this picking behavior, sometimes several hours a day and it ultimately causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, and other aspects of their lives.

Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling) Disorder

Hair pulling disorder is not a new addition to DSM5 it was already classified before under the Obsessive Compulsive and related disorder category. It is characterized by the recurrent pulling out of one’s hair. They pull out hair from different regions of the body the most common regions being the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelids. This pulling causes significant hair loss and may also result in irreversible damage to hair growth and hair quality. People with Trichotillomania may even swallow their hair which causes abdominal pain, anemia, nausea and vomiting, and even perforation.

Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine Withdrawal falls under the category of Substance-Related and Addictive Disorder and is seen in people with prolonged daily use of caffeine. Whenever there is an abrupt cessation of or reduction in caffeine use they experience any three or more of the following symptoms within 24 hours: headache, marked fatigue or drowsiness, dysmorphic mood or irritability, difficulty concentrating, and flu-like symptoms ( nausea, vomiting, or muscle pain/stiffness). Headache is one of the most common features of this disorder. Many people are unaware of their dependence on caffeine however it can affect people’s lives in many ways.


It is classified under the category of Feeding and Eating Disorder in DSM5. Individuals suffering from Pica eat one or more nonnutritive, nonfood substances on a persistent basis. These substances may include paper, soap, cloth, hair, string, wool, soil, chalk, talcum powder, paint, gum, metal, pebbles, charcoal or coal, ash, clay, starch, or ice. Pica can significantly disrupt the physical functioning of a person, however, it rarely affects social functioning.

Rumination Disorder

Another Feeding and Eating Disorder is Rumination in which a person brings up previously swallowed food that may be partially digested into the mouth without apparent nausea or disgust. They re-chew the food and then either re-swallow or eject them. This often has a negative effect on the developmental or learning potential of the individual along with malnutrition. Some people with Rumination disorder often restrict their intake of food due to social undesirability which affects their health even further.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome(RLS) is a sensorimotor, neurological sleep disorder in which a person desires to move his legs or arms. This is usually associated with a feeling of discomfort like crawling, creeping, tingling, burning, or itching. Individuals move their legs frequently to relieve this discomfort. The symptoms worsen when the individual is resting or inactive during the evening or night. Hence it is classified under the category of Sleep-Wake disorders.


Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM5)

Sayani Banerjee
Author: Sayani Banerjee

Hey there, curious minds! I'm Sayani Banerjee, and I'm thrilled to be your companion on the fascinating journey through the realm of psychology. As a dedicated student pursuing my master's in Clinical Psychology at Calcutta University, I'm constantly driven by the desire to unravel the mysteries of the human mind and share my insights with you. My passion for teaching and my love for research come together on my blog, psychologymadeeasy.in, where we explore the world of psychology in the simplest and most engaging way possible.

Read more on: Abnormal Psychology

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