Disturbing Disorders: Cotard’s Delusion (Walking Corpse Syndrome)

This is absolutely fascinating to me.

I have to wonder if it might be connected to some of the zombie situations in the islands as well. A combination of drugs and a delusional belief.

Wow. Now I have something to research. At the very least it would make an intriguing short story.

The Chirurgeon's Apprentice

C4In 1880, a middle-aged woman paid a visit to the French neurologist, Jules Cotard (pictured below), complaining of an unusual predicament. She believed she had ‘no brain, no nerves, no chest, no stomach, no intestines’. Mademoiselle X, as Cotard dubbed her in his notes, told the physician she was ‘nothing more than a decomposing body’. She believed neither God nor Satan existed, and that she had no soul. As she could not die a natural death, she had ‘no need to eat’.

Mademoiselle X later died of starvation. [1]

Although this peculiar condition eventually became known as ‘Cotard’s Delusion’ the French neurologist was not the first to describe it. In 1788—nearly 100 years earlier—Charles Bonnet reported the case of an elderly woman who was preparing a meal in her kitchen when a draught ‘struck her forcefully on the neck’ paralyzing her one side ‘as if hit by a stroke’. When…

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