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  • Friend has been diagnosed with Cotard syndrome

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    Old 12-22-2005, 10:45 PM   #1
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    Friend has been diagnosed with Cotard syndrome

    A friend of mine who I know has had some trouble mentally for a while told me the other day that he had been diagnosed by a specialist with Cotard syndrome. He has always told me that he believes he is dead and that he's a walking corpse, that he can feel worms eating his body, that he has nothing inside his body, and that his brain is gone. He has seen countless therapists, all pretty much saying he was crazy. He has been in a mental institution, but was released when he showed no signs of insanity.

    I think I know why he thinks he should be dead, though - he was involved in a car accident a few years ago. It wasn't anything major, and everyone escaped with minor injuries, but my friend was knocked unconscious from a blow to the head and he was out for a few days. When he woke (his parents were there with him), his first words were "Why aren't I in my grave?"

    Recently, he showed me scars on his arms where he had dug into his own skin with his fingernails. He said he saw and felt worms crawling under his skin and tried to frantically dig them out.

    Normally I wouldn't even know what in the world Cotard syndrome is, but I happen to be writing a story about it. I just found it so ironic that my friend suffers from this mental condition. I worry about him because I fear me may someday hurt himself very badly.

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    Anyone else here have experiences with Cotard syndrome? I feel as if I'm the only one..

     
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    Old 12-25-2005, 04:43 AM   #2
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    Re: Friend has been diagnosed with Cotard syndrome

    Never heard of Cotard syndrome. The whole thing about feeling worms under his skin and needing to pick them out along with the delusion that his brain is missing and he's dead sounds like schizophrenia to me. Is Cotard syndrome related to schizophrenia at all? I'm interested because this diagnosis is a new one for me.
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    Old 12-28-2005, 09:34 PM   #3
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    Re: Friend has been diagnosed with Cotard syndrome

    I borrowed a book from my cousin a while ago, which I read recently. It's where I had found the information on Cotard syndrome before the news of my friend's condition. According to the book, a man who had the same condition was diagnosed by every therapist with schizophrenia. But he did not quite fit the "perfect" schizophrenic description. So, I'm assuming that there is some relation between schizophrenia and Cotard syndrome.

     
    Old 12-29-2005, 02:51 AM   #4
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    Re: Friend has been diagnosed with Cotard syndrome

    Interesting. I'll have to do some research on that...You have piqued my obsessive-compulsive curiosity! lol! Write back soon!
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    Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 12-29-2005 at 02:53 AM.

     
    Old 12-30-2005, 12:34 PM   #5
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    Re: Friend has been diagnosed with Cotard syndrome

    I've never heard of Cotard's Syndrome but did a google search and found the following basic information:

    Cotard's syndrome is a form of severe depressive disorder that was described by the French psychiatrist, Cotard, in 1882.

    The patient believes that he is dead, a walking corpse. This "delusion" is usually expanded to the degree that the patient might claim that he can smell his own rotting flesh and feel worms crawling through his skin (a recurring experience of people chronically deprived of sleep or suffering amphetamine/cocaine psychosis).


    Cotard's syndrome is usually seen in as part of schizophrenia or in severe bipolar disorder. Other possible causes include alcoholism, syphilis, Alzheimer's disease, a parietal lobe lesion.

    The patient may respond to antipsychotic or antidepressant medication

    It also says that it's a neurological problem and not a psychiatric one.

    Very interesting and very sad. I hope your friend responds well to the meds and is able to overcome Cotard's. It must be sheer torture to live with.

     
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