English 4 semester 2
October 22, 2018
Cotard’s Delusion, “Walking Corpse Syndrome”
Close your eyes and think to yourself, “What if I am dead right now?” People with Cotard’s Delusion actually think this on a daily basis. People who have this disease often find themselves wandering around aimlessly. This disease is more common in older individuals. The patients also believe that they are dead or rotting. Some have even reported the smell of rotting flesh.
Cotard’s Delusion was discovered in 1880 by Julius Cotard. in 1968, long after the death of Mr. Cotard, 10 cases were described. Many doctors today can’t figure out why exactly the patients are affected by this. The patients often think they are dead but in the afterlife so they assume they are immortal. They often try and harm themselves. For example cutting off limbs, overdosing and jumping off buildings. This can also be a danger to any bystander walking down the street, when someone jumps off a building to end their life it doesn't just affect that one person.
Here is one of the patients stories: “Ms. L, a 53-year-old Filipino woman, was admitted to the psychiatric unit when her family called 911 because the patient was complaining that she was dead, smelled like rotting flesh, and wanted to be taken to a morgue so that she could be with dead people. Upon interview in the hospital, the patient expressed fear that “paramedics” were trying to burn down the house where she was living with her cousin and her brother. She also admitted to hopelessness, low energy, decreased appetite, and somnolence” (Anne Ruminjo,MD) Ms. L is a typical victim of Cotard’s Delusion she sees most of the hallucination. She also stated that she wanted to be with the dead.
Another patient whose name was not reported, was observed to be delusional as she kept telling the doctors and nurses her body was done: “She began to complain that her body was finished, her gut has become rotten and her brain had rotten due to which her mind had stopped working. She also began to say that like her father, her lungs had cancer and was rotting and the rotten bits were coming out when ...