"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

Categories: Health and Medicine

Legends about creepy werewolves have been going around for thousands of years, the transformation of people into animals is mentioned even in early medical works. But this is not mysticism, but a form of mental illness — the illusion of transformation. A middle-aged man named Matar has been suffering from this disorder for many years. His nails seem to become longer, and then there is an irresistible desire to attack…

"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

In modern medicine, this disease is called "clinical lycanthropy" — the illusion of turning into an animal. There were cases when people were sure of their transformation into dogs, hyenas, snakes and even bees. The disease is incredibly rare — when the psychiatrist of the Parnasia Institute, Jan Dirk Blom, studied all international practice, it turned out that only 13 such diseases have been detected over the past 162 years.

Journalist Helen Thompson was well aware that there are few cases in world practice and she is unlikely to be able to face a clear example. By the way, clinical lycanthropy is not an independent diagnosis, it is one of the rare symptoms of schizophrenia. 

Nevertheless, the journalist sent requests to various clinics, and soon it turned out that a man named Matar, who has been suffering from a rare disorder for many years, is being treated in the Arab Emirates. He is sure that sometimes he turns into a tiger. Matar agreed to the meeting, and Helen flew to Abu Dhabi.

"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

Matar was sitting on a chair in a wide, busy corridor, wearing the traditional long white clothes and a white headdress. He is in his early 40s, but because of the dark circles under his eyes, he seems older. He has a thin black beard and a gray, wrinkled face.

Matar was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 16 years old. One day he began to have auditory and visual hallucinations — it seemed to him that bombs were exploding everywhere. The guy called the police, saying that the country was attacked, as a result, he was arrested for false reporting.

"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

As an adult, Matar discovered that along with the usual hallucinations, he can turn into a tiger. He felt the nails begin to grow on his hands and feet, he wanted to growl. When this happened, he locked himself in his room because he was afraid to go outside and eat someone.

Once the attack began right during the haircut-Matar jumped up and tried to bite the barber. 

The journalist asked Matar if he had a wife. He was silent for a couple of seconds, and then said that there was a wife. But immediately he threw his head back and made a very strange sound — it turned out that he was crying. Matar has a wife and two children (8 and 14 years old), but he no longer sees them. 

The doctor explained that Matar's wife took the children away after the symptoms of lycanthropy appeared — it seemed to her that he was dangerous. 

"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

Over time, the hallucinations began to worsen, and Matar began to feel that these people were controlling his speech and reading his thoughts. Sometimes they wouldn't let him talk.

When the transformation into a tiger begins, Matar feels all the hair on his body stand on end. Then an acute itching sensation spreads through the body-it begins with the left leg, then passes to the right, and then spreads throughout the body. Then it seems as if an electric discharge is passed through you. 

"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

Matar abruptly stopped his story and said something to the doctor in Arabic. He turned to the journalist and said that Matar was turning into a tiger right now.

The doctors start talking quietly to Matar and ask him to relax. The room is quiet, and it seems that the patient is fighting some kind of internal struggle. 

— How did you know that you read my thoughts? Matar was frightened.

Matar calms down and decides to continue the interview. The journalist asked why he considers himself a tiger, and not a cat or someone else. 

The journalist becomes uneasy. Matar has a terrible relapse-he inhales sharply, looks at his knees and lets out a terrible tiger roar. He kept his hands on his knees, while the fingers began to bend as if they had claws on them. 

"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

The doctors calm him down again. Matar takes a few deep breaths and suddenly becomes quite normal. He goes out for a smoke.

At this time, the doctor told the journalist that, most likely, Matar did not take the medicine. He was prescribed a mixture of antipsychotics, antidepressants and sedatives that help keep the symptoms under control. The doctor added that if he really did not drink them, it is impossible to feel safe in this room.

After these words, the journalist was ready to stop the interview, but the doctor suggested simply moving to another room, a bigger one. Helen sat down by the door to run out in case of anything. 

Matar's mother left with his sister for India. My sister also developed symptoms of schizophrenia, and she was sent to a specialized clinic for research. 

Matar says that sometimes it seems to him that a lion is attacking him. He grabs him by the neck, blood flows from the wounds on Matar's body. 

"My claws come out and I have a sharp desire to attack": the revelations of a modern werewolf

The attacks of the" lion " last for several minutes, but sometimes they drag on for hours. It turned out that Matar's current relapse began last night — he locked himself in a room, wrapped a towel around his head and wrapped himself in a sheet so that there was no way to get free. 

Despite the situation that occurred at the interview, Matar is not dangerous to society. When he takes medication, you can't tell him apart from any other person on the street. 

Suddenly, everything changes. Matar starts laughing loudly, stretches out his fingers and bends them at the joints. Then he lowers his head and takes off his shoes-squeezes his left leg and hurts himself. 

At this point, the doctor says that you need to leave. The journalist did not leave thoughts about Matar's fate for a long time, and a few months later she wrote to the doctor to ask about his health. But soon she received a bleak answer: after that relapse, Mataru did not get better, such cases have already been repeated many times and the man is still in the hospital. 

Keywords: Health and medicine | Tigers | Schizophrenia | Mental disorders

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