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World of the Bizarre

The woman who believed she was a chicken

By T.K. Randall
July 31, 2020 · Comment icon 11 comments

It's not every day that you wake up believing that you are poultry. Image Credit: PD - Wiki
Psychiatrists have made progress in explaining a rare disorder that makes a person believe they are an animal.
It's one of the rarest medical conditions ever recorded - a person with no history of drug or alcohol abuse can suddenly become completely convinced that they are no longer human.

One of the best documented cases involved a 54-year-old woman from Belgium who inexplicably started to behave as though she were a chicken. Her brother discovered her outside in her garden, clucking, blowing out her cheeks and crowing like a rooster.

When he took her to hospital, she explained to doctors that she believed she was a chicken and described experiencing strange new sensations in her limbs.

Her delusion later vanished following a seizure and she now struggles to recall the incident.
Now according to a new paper, cases like this may have gone under-reported for years.

Only 56 cases have ever been documented, with sufferers reporting a wide variety of animal personas including a lion, a hyena, a shark, a horse, a rabbit, a gerbil and even a bee.

The condition is thought to be linked to underlying depression and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, however more research is clearly needed.

"Clinical zoanthropy, or the conviction of having turned into an animal, is a rare delusion," the researchers wrote. "There are different views about its pathogenesis."

"This delusion can occur with an underlying psychiatric disorder, but it can also be secondary to structural or functional disorders of the brain."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (11)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by third_eye 3 years ago
Only when she clucks...  ~
Comment icon #3 Posted by 'Walt' E. Kurtz 3 years ago
What we're not actually chickens!!!???  What came first the hen or the Egg? 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
Bring her to KFC, it could boost their profit if they can breed her !
Comment icon #5 Posted by jethrofloyd 3 years ago
Luckily for her, she didn't end up as a barbecue.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Big Jim 3 years ago
Did anyone ask her about crossing the road?
Comment icon #7 Posted by nevins 3 years ago
I thought i was a duck so i went to see a quack,he told me not to worry as i was in eggcellent physical condition but to avoid being cooped up.  
Comment icon #8 Posted by Still Waters 3 years ago
The poor woman.
Comment icon #9 Posted by C L Palmer 3 years ago
Hey, if that's how she identifies who are we to mis-species her? Give the APA ten years and it won't be categorized as a disorder.
Comment icon #10 Posted by XenoFish 3 years ago
Looks like the world has overdosed on crazy pills.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Humbled Hypocrite83 3 years ago
I hope she doesn't procreate.

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