Cotard's Syndrome Research Paper

Topics: Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Suicide Pages: 2 (602 words) Published: December 2, 2013

Cotard’s syndrome, also known as Walking Dead Syndrome, is a rare mental disorder in which the said person holds a belief that they are dead, putrefying, don’t exist, or have lost all of their blood and internal organs. This disorder was named after Jules Cotard, who was a French neurologist that was the first to describe it. He was especially interested in cerebrovascular accidents, or strokes, and what happened as a result of them. He took to performing autopsies so he could better understand how they affected the brain. Cotard’s syndrome, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, is a form of delusional psychosis. The severity of this disorder differs from person to person, from mild to severe. In more severe cases, such as the original case, the person can die from starvation, because of the belief that parts of their body do not exist, and therefore do not need to eat. There are 3 distinct stages in Cotard’s syndrome: germination, blooming, and chronic. In the first stage, the said person would have psychotic depression and hypochondria. The second stage is when the syndrome has fully developed and the patient starts to have delusions of negation, which is the delusion that everything is nonexistent, or a sense that everything is unreal. In the third and final stage of this disorder is when the person experiences severe delusions and can develop chronic depression. This stage is what leads theses people to have a completely distorted view of the world in which they live in. These people can also become socially withdrawn, negligent to their hygiene, and unable to make sense of reality. The cause to this distorted reality is when their is a malfunction in the part of the brain called the fusiform gyrus, the part of the brain that recognizes faces, and also in the amygdala, a small almond shaped set of neurons that process your emotions. The combination of these two is a lack of recognition when they are viewing familiar faces (even their own) and it can...
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