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What is the syndrome of a living corpse and how is it manifested?

What is a corpse, probably, there is no need to explain to anyone. The dead body has no needs - it does not breathe and does not move. But there are people, fortunately, quite rare, who consider themselves already dead. And, as a rule, they insist that the people around them also treat them accordingly. This state of man has in medicine the name " syndrome of a living corpse." What Is this pathology and how is it manifested?

Symptoms of the disease

Self-negation, self-abasement is the basic condition on which the syndrome under discussion is based, leading to a distinct conviction in one's death.

Generally, syndromes, in psychiatry And in medicine in general, is a series of symptoms typical of a disease. So, the discussed pathology, for example, is attributed to manifestations of delusional psychosis, which is characterized by sensations of loss of a part of the body or its decomposition and decay. Patients are convinced even of the presence of worms eating their dead flesh, and the "cadaverous" smell emanating from it. Patients insist that they have not existed for a long time, but only the shell is alive, which for some reason does not want to put up with death. This they explain and the refusal of food and water, which, in their opinion, can no longer be needed.

The syndrome of a live corpse is also manifested by constant depression, depression and persistent attempts at suicide. The patient sharply feels his uselessness and internal emptiness.

Rare syndrome

So, for example, an Englishman named Graham, who was diagnosed with a syndrome of a living corpse, claimed that after attempting to commit suicide by arranging a kind of "electric chair" in his bathroom, he lost his brain. The patient refused any treatment, claiming that it is meaningless, since he is dead. And the only place where the patient felt comfortable was the cemetery.

It is interesting that after analyzing the brain functions, the patient found a low activity of the frontal and parietal parts. Simply put, they were like those of a sleeper or an anesthetized person. Obviously, this led to a changed perception of the world.

Are the causes of the disease known?

This disease was first described in the late 19th century. Psychiatrist Jules Cotard, who observed a patient who claimed that she was dead, because she did not have a heart or stomach. In honor of the doctor, this pathology is called "Kotard syndrome".

It was found that the disease is more often manifested in impressionable women suffering from migraine, or in the elderly, waiting for death. Sometimes it may occur in patients with a brain tumor or after severe skull injuries, damaging areas responsible for recognition and emotion. This, probably, leads to the patient's confidence in the "otherworldliness" of the environment and himself. It is also known that among the people suffering from this disease are mostly people who have problems recognizing themselves as individuals who can not accept their own "I".

But, unfortunately, the true causes and ways of treating this deviation have not yet been established. It is only known that the syndrome of a living corpse is not inherited and is not a genetic disease. It is attributed to manifestations of schizophrenia and treats only symptomatic manifestations.

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