Walking corpse syndrome


What makes a living people think that they are dead? You say absurd? Meanwhile, it is a rare mental illness that affects only a few hundred people in the world. They truly believe that life has left them and they are only a misunderstanding in this world … However, in contrast to these corpses, they can still be cured.

Cotard syndrome — the official name of the disease — according to doctors, is a form of depression. The first such case was reported in 1880 by the French neurologist Jules Cotard. The manifestations of disease can be very different. Some patients lose the ability to move limbs. Others may not have. Some people try to commit suicide, for example, an acid burn themselves to be "liberated" from the "dead" of the flesh …

In 2008, a 53-year-old New Yorker said her relatives that she was dead and smells like rotting fish. The woman asked me to take her to the morgue, where she could be with other dead bodies … But instead, she brought home "soon." After a month of treatment, the lady recovered.

A patient by the name of Graham, a resident of the UK, Cotard's syndrome was diagnosed nine years ago. One fine morning, a man woke up and felt confident that he was already dead. He could not eat or smoke, he did not want to talk with anyone.

"I do not want to see anyone. This made no sense — says Graham. — I did not feel pleasure from anything. Previously, I adored his car, but she was not interested in me anymore. My only concern was death. I lost my sense of smell and sense of taste. I do not want to eat because I was dead. Conversations seemed a waste of time and I stopped talking. I even did not have any thoughts. "

The man started losing his hair, and he stopped brushing his teeth — he thought that if the teeth turn black, it will be more fit "the image of the" dead. But at the same time somewhere on a subconscious level, he knew he was still alive. "We had no other choice but to accept the fact that I had no way to actually die. It was a nightmare," — says Graham. He began to regularly go to the local cemetery, "I just felt like I could stay there.'s Where I was the closest thing to death."

The family still insisted that Graham asked the doctors, and they sent it for examination to the University of Liege in Belgium. "There came a man who says he is dead!" — Reported to the secretary, Professor, to which Graham was at the reception. Scans showed that activity in the frontal and parietal areas of the patient's brain is too low, as if he was in a state of sleep. It took months of therapy and medication, the patient is more or less returned to normal. A few more common this kind of phobias such as fear of death. They suffered, in particular, the father of Gogol. They say that this illness and brought him to the grave.

Most often, sufferers of this phobia are afraid that they will stop the heart. For example, in a dream … They can not stop because of this, even to bed. Sleeplessness and constant stress affect their health, that can actually be fatal.

But the death drive can be not only disease, but also a worldview. It is called thanatology. A striking example of this — the Goths. Members of this informal movement believe that peace and happiness can only be found in the next world, and in anticipation of the transition back nostalgic, read the horror stories, write poems and songs, draw pictures about the otherworldly reality …

Goths love to spend time in cemeteries (love of cemeteries called taphophilia). When asked about the reason for such a pastime, they respond that they like the feeling of peace and tranquility, which is filled with cemetery atmosphere. Preferences are given to "Gothic" — old graves with beautiful, artsy tombstones.

Alas, in contrast to the same Cotard's syndrome, is a philosophy of life can not be treated. Heal her and make informals rejoice everyday life, rather than seeking to games with death, can probably only time. Sooner or later the young people grow up, and they will have other interests.

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