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Transcript of Cotard's Delusion
Walking Corpse Syndrome
89% experienced depression
63% experienced delusions of guilt
58% hypochondriac delusions
55% experienced anxiety, guilt, and delusions of immortality
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
*Determined by severity of the condition
Findings of Study:
A. There are three types of Cotard’s delusion.
1. Cotard Type 1
o Purely delusional
2. Cotard Type 2
o Includes anxiety, depression, and auditory hallucinations
3. Psychotic Depression
o Few delusions with melancholia
B. Extreme nihilistic delusions are not always characteristic of Cotard’s delusion as traditionally believed.
C. Susceptibility increases with age.
Jules Cotard (1840-1889)
Somatic delusions of physical ailments
Self-starvation due to nihilistic belief that one’s digestive system is nonexistent
the belief that oneself or one’s environment does not exist
Relationship with other Disorders
Accompanies other psychological disorders
o schizophrenia, depression
“Délire des negations”
First case report of a patient
who "affirm[ed] she ha[s] no brain,
no stomach, no intestines...she
ha[d] no soul...she ha[d] no need for
eating...living...she [could] not die
a natural death."
(Translation from Cotard, 1880)
Cotard had discovered a new type of
depression, originally characterized by melancholia, feelings of damnation, delusions of nonexistent body parts or of immortality.
First referred to as
lypémanie (pschotic depression), then délire des negations before it was called Cotard's syndrome or delusion.
Signs of guilt, despair, and obsession with death
Misfiring in the fusiform face area of the brain (FFA) or amygdala
o upset in one’s mental equilibrium (shock)
In a study of 100 patients diagnosed with Cotard’s delusion:
Cases of elderly women who believe they are pregnant may have connections to Cotard's syndrome.
The syndrome is more likely to affect older people with depression and schizophrenia, but may affect younger individuals with bipolar disorder.
Cotard's syndrome is often associated with dementia.
Thank you for your attention!