The patients and staff around psychiatry OPD number 21 at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (LTMG), Mumbai, were confronted by a puzzling ‘crow man’ Thursday. Mitesh Santani (name changed) has the unusual delusion of being a crow and his condition has baffled the doctors at the hospital.
“In my entire practice, I have never seen anyone with this kind of delusion. Santani considers himself as a crow and keeps cawing. The delusion of considering oneself as an animal is very rare. He has been undergoing treatment for seven years now, and he is much better,” said Dr Sagar Karia, secretary of Bombay Psychiatric Association as well as consulting psychiatrist at Sion Hospital.
Dr Karia said the 30-year-old’s condition is a type of schizophrenia and delusions are one of the prominent features. His condition is very rare as people have delusions of great men or deities. “Schizophrenia is an unfortunate psychological disorder that requires treatment throughout the life. Delusions, suspicions and outbursts are often characteristic to the disorder. Paranoid schizophrenia is one of the most commonly found types of schizophrenia in the world. However, it is pretty unusual to get the belief of oneself being an animal,” he said.
Santani’s condition is unique as his family and relatives thought he was trying to irritate them by pretending to be a crow. “People around him thought he was trying to irritate them by behaving like a crow. He was an abusive young man and that just added to his personality being misconstrued as irritating,” added Dr Karia.
Doctors from the city say that the phenomenon is very rare. “I have had patients coming with various unusual symptoms but none with something like this. It is very rare,” said Dr Anjali Chhabria, Psychiatrist and Founder of Mind Temple.