Posts Tagged: ‘defeat your doppelganger’

I’ve devoted several recent posts to the doppelgangers in your life and how best to defeat them. You know what I’m talking about: the unexplainable twin you keep running into on the train or that stranger who looks just like your mother but doesn’t know how to cook a pot roast.

This is no conspiracy, however. It’s all in that brain of yours.

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At first this condition might seem more the domain of helpful aliens and guardian angels than doppelgängers, but third man syndrome falls smack in the middle of our rogue’s gallery of mysterious doubles. You’ve probably heard these stories before. A mysterious stranger seemingly appears out of nowhere to help someone through extreme circumstances — and then vanishes.

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We’ve looked at a few different delusional misidentification syndromes so far and sent the doppelgangers packing. But what if the mysterious stranger in your life happens to be that weirdo in the mirror?

You’ve probably seen this played out for laughs in everything from the Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup” to “Shaun the Sheep.” Your reflection just doesn’t look or move quite right, so you move around till the impostor gives him or herself away. Assuming the rest of your life doesn’t resemble a slapstick farce, however, it’s probably best to seek professional help.

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We all want to fit in, but at the same time we want to stand apart from the crowd. We’re thrilled when we’re the first to discover a new musical artist, but then we’re disappointed when our friends don’t jump on the bandwagon with us.

If you suffer from Clonal Pluralization of Self, however, life has an unhealthy compromise for you. This particular delusional misidentification syndrome boils down to the belief that there are many physically and psychologically identical copies of you in the world.

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Do you frequently glimpse a stranger on the train who looks just like you? Convinced a nefarious organization deployed agents to impersonate you? The truth is you’re probably suffering from the syndrome of subjective doubles. First identified by George N. Christodoulou, the condition involves false memories of familiarity in which strangers appear to share your exact appearance.

In a 1978, Christodoulou described the case of a woman dubbed “Ms. A” The reserved 18-year-old believed that a female neighbor had gradually metamorphosed into her doppelgänger through the use of special makeup, a wig and a mask.

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It’s a new year and a new decade, so instead of focusing on those same old boring resolutions, let’s tackle the big one. It’s time to do something about that mysterious double in your life.

Perhaps it’s your own doppelgänger — you know, the guy or gal that looks JUST like you. Or is it other people’s impossible twins you keep encountering?

Together, you and I are going to crack this nut. Let’s start with the unsettling feeling that someone (or something) has replaced a loved one, friend or coworker in your life.

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