Walking Corpse Syndrome Bradley Simpson
Overview • What is Walking Corpse Syndrome? • History • What Happens With This Syndrome? • How You Get This Syndrome • Cases • Treatment • Solution
What Is Walking Corpse Syndrome? • Walking Corpse Syndrome is also known as Cotards Syndrome • Walking Corpse Syndrome, or Cotard’s Syndrome patients believe they have lost organs, blood, body parts, and even report feeling bugs eating at their flesh, as well as smelling their flesh rotting. • This syndrome exists in patients with depression, schizophrenia, and psychotic disorders as well as dementia.
History • Named after Jules Cotard (1840-1889) a French Neurologist who first described the condition, in a lecture in Paris in 1880. • Cotard lectured on a case in which the patient denied the existence of God, the Devil, and several parts of her body. Later she believed she was eternally damned and could no longer die a natural death. • In 1996, Young and Leafhead describe a modern day case of Cotards syndrome in which a patient had suffered a brain injury. • Only a handful of cases are reported worldwide.
What Happens With Walking Corpse? • Cotard’s is thought to be related to Capgras’s Syndrome, both are thought to result from a disconnect between the brain areas that recognize faces, and the area that associates them with the emotions that are connected with that particular face. • With this disconnect, it creates a sense that the face that is seen is not the person that it purports it to be, although it is identical with the face it purports it to be, it lacks the familiarity it should have.
How Do I Get It? • Cotard’s Syndrome usually arises as a result of some other mental illness, but it can be caused by brain injury. Such as brain lesions. • This syndrome is also common within patients that have chronic depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Popular Case • This modern-day case of Cotard’s Syndrome manifested in a patient who suffered brain injury after a motorcycle accident. • The patient’s symptoms occurred in context of more general feeling of unreality and being dead. In January, 1990, after his discharge from a hospital in Edinburgh, his mother took him to South Africa. He was convinced that he had been to hell (which was confirmed by the heat), and that he had died of a bacterial disease.
Treatment • Since this disorder is so rare the right treatments for it are unknown. Many psychiatrists have tried antipsychotic therapy, but this does not seem to work. There have been four cases however that have been helped using electroconvulsive therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy is When electrodes are attached to the top of a persons head and electricity is administered to the brain, to cause a seizure. This is also used in very severe cases of depression.
Solution • Many in the medical profession write off patients with very rare diseases such as Cotard’s, because only a handful of people are affected as well as the fact treatment that does exist is often unsuccessful • We need to look into more successful treatment for rare diseases and try to help save the people who suffer from these rare and un-treatable diseases.
Additional Information • On the episode 14 of season 4 of the TV show Scrubs, a character named Jerry, who suffered from Cotard syndrome was aired. • http://www.surfthechannel.com/info/television/Scrubs/6356/S4E14.html
Works Cited • http://www.cma.ca/multimedia/staticContent/HTML/N0/l2/jpn/vol-29/issue-2/pdf/pg138.pdf • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotard_delusion • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12011289 • http://psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/55/11/1319 • http://www.cracked.com/article_15650_5-mental-disorders-that-can-totally-get-you-laid.html
Any Questions? I see Dead People