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Cotard Delusion - The Walking Corpse Syndrome


Cotard delusion is a mental disorder where the affected person holds a delusional belief of being dead, dying, or undergoing putrefaction. The affected individual also believes that they have lost their bones, blood, and internal organs.

The most notable symptom of Cotard syndrome is the delusion of negation. Patients deny their existence, the existence of an organ, a body part such as an arm or a leg. Conversely, a statistical analysis of a cohort of patients, also revealed that they had experienced delusions of immortality.

The disease manifests itself through 3 stages, namely:
      Germination stage
      Blooming stage
      Chronic stage
The germination stage is characterised by the onset of severe depression and hypochondria. Hypochondria is a condition where the patient is worried about an illness to an inordinate degree.

The blooming stage is characterised by the development of the delusion of negation. The last stage, viz., the chronic stage, is characterised by worsening of symptoms, accompanied by psychiatric depression.

The exact cause of Cotard Delusion is unknown. There are many theories, ranging from cellular anomalies in mitochondria structure to misfiring neurons in the fusiform face area of the brain. However, scientists speculate that the latter is the most plausible cause of the illness as the fusiform face area of the brain is associated with the recognition of faces. 

Physical trauma to some areas of the brain can also bring about this disorder. For instance, lesions forming on the inside of the parietal lobe due to brain trauma or disease have been reported to cause Cotard Delusion.

Though the implications of this illness are frightening, treatments are available to counteract most of the symptoms. Electroconvulsive therapy, (formerly known as shock therapy) is found to be more successful than pharmacological treatments.

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How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosing Cotard fancy is frequently troublesome in light of the fact that most associations don't remember it as a sickness. This implies there's no institutionalized rundown of criteria used to make a finding. By and large, it's just analyzed after other potential conditions have been discounted.

On the off chance that you figure you may have Cotard dream, attempt to keep a diary of your manifestations, noticing when they happen and to what extent they last. This data can enable your PCP to limit the potential causes, including Cotard fancy. Remember that Cotard dream more often than not happens close by other psychological sicknesses, so you may get more than one determination.


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