176. Walking Corpse Syndrome

29 Jul

Not a sufferer of Walking Corpse Syndrome

Also known as Cotard’s Syndrome, this rare mental condition has a very bizarre way of changing one’s outlook. It is usually a side-effect of a previous mental illness but occasionally the result of head trauma. What it actually does is make the sufferer believe that they are dead, non-existent or in even rarer cases, immortal.

They simply are convinced that they are in essence, a walking corpse, or ghost. Some conclude, just because it is hot when they gain consciousness, that they have died and gone to hell, even though life goes on normally around them.

It was originally described in 1880 by French neurologist Jules Cotard, he described it and gave an anonymous example of ‘Mademoiselle X.’ In this case she denied the existence of God, the Devil and several of her own body parts.She then denied that she needed to eat to survive. She moved on to believing that she was eternally damned and could never die any form of natural death. She died of starvation, for there was no treatment available at the time. Not that she would have enjoyed it, treatment is in fact rather painful, and in fact that is the point.

To convince any sufferer that they are not actually dead, they have to be put through electroconvulsive therapy, a treatment painful enough to make them wish they were dead. That may be a slight exaggeration – however that is the concept. After all, no pain no gain, and what bigger gain is there than coming back to life? Well, realising that you are still alive. I would argue none.

Further Reading

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Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Articles, Trivia


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