This bizarre mental disorder, medically known by the name of Cotard delusion, makes individuals to believe that they’re dead.
The most well-known mental disorders like depression, anxiety and bulimia are often featured in news reports. Numerous other similarly complex and troubling conditions, on the contrary side, don’t receive the same focus due to their lack of visibility and mystery. For instance, the Cotard hallucination is among them.
What exactly is Cotard delusion and how can it manifest?
The Dr. Jules Cotard, a French psychiatrist and neurologist initially published the report Cotard delusion, which is also known as walking-crown syndrome Cotard’s Syndrome, also known as Nihilistic Delusion in 1882. It is a term used to describe a range of psychotic delusions, which range from an individual’s belief that all their internal organs are gone to the belief that they’re dead.
“Psychosis is when someone is unable to connect with reality in some way. The syndrome Cotard’s syndrome is a prime illustration for this” states Margaret Seide, MD, a psychiatrist in New York City. “A person suffering from Cotard’s Syndrome is afflicted with a sense of nihilism. It’s the belief that life has no meaning.”
Dr. Seide emphasizes the need to distinguish between hallucinations and illusion. “When you experience a hallucination it is when you experience things that aren’t real through one of the five senses (touch hearing, sight, smell and taste) for instance, listening to voices” Dr. Seide adds. “A illusion, on the contrary, occurs the belief that you hold about something which isn’t real.” It’s a fixedand false belief that is contrary to the norms of society.”
It is possible to experience any kind of illusion. However, there’s a common thread in Cotard delusions: a certain belief that a certain portion or even your entire body is dying or degrading. It’s not clear the number of people affected by this baffling condition, but it’s not common. “It’s unusual to have an intense, intense hallucination” states Gayani DeSilva, MD, an author and psychiatrist based in California.
Denial of being pregnant or their own name or age or their ability for walking or eating and/or denial of their partners, parents and children or the entire world are just a few of the illusions reported by Cotard delusional patients.
What’s the reason behind Cotard’s illusion?
The exact cause of Cotard delusions is not known however, it could be a sign of depression that is severe According to the psychiatrist Dr. DeSilva. “Psychotic symptoms, like visual or auditory hallucinations and hazy paranoid belief or delusions, typically occur when people suffer from an extreme, major depression” the doctor explains.
“Dr. Seide says, “The primary reason for this is believed to be hereditaryand has no evidence of external trigger events.” “It may also be an indication for schizophrenia.” Certain disorders of the brain like migraines, dementia and epilepsy are associated with Cotard delusions.
Cotard delusion may be less common than it was according to a 2014 research paper that was published in Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice partially due to the fact that people who suffer from severe depression and exhibit symptoms of psychosis are treated sooner.
What are the symptoms and signs for Cotard delusion?
Since a person suffering from Cotard delusions has a fixed conviction, they are unable to consider reason. Therefore, you are not in a position to convince them to reconsider their beliefs. “A sufferer of this condition will experience extreme suffering. “It’s important to make sure that the person is aware of the reality of their situation,” Dr. Seide says.
Cotard delusion, on other hand, is easy to recognize. It is easy to recognize. Dr. Seide notes, “The first step is taking the time to take a thorough medical history.” “Questioning should be conducted so that the falsehoods that are associated with the disease come to light. For the patient it is the reality they live in and they’ll usually freely discuss their experiences of experiencing as if they’ve died in the course of speaking to you. Then it is possible to make a definitive diagnosis be established.”
In other situations the hallucination might be based on a factual. Dr. DeSilva recalled the care of an elderly person who believed that his neighbor was stabbed in his chest and poisoning the man. “It turned out that he was suffering from an abnormal growth in his chest wall which was causing him pain and nausea. The real medical issue was hidden in his delusional thoughts.”
Even though Dr. DeSilva hasn’t seen people who believe they’re dead, she’s treated many patients who believe that a portion of their bodies aren’t getting worse. “It’s very distressing for people like these,” she says. “I consider all illusions to be serious and realize that the story might have some truth even if it’s simply a lie.” Because of their mental state it is possible that the patient will not be able to express the physical problems they face in a way that is realistic.
What is the cure for Cotard delusion?
Cotard delusions are usually linked to other illnesses that could impact the treatment options. According to a paper from 2012 that was published in Case Reports in Psychiatry, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) might be beneficial. ECT patients are placed under general anaesthesia prior to having electrical currents delivered to their brains, causing convulsions. It’s a well-known treatment for depression that could be beneficial to Cotard delusional patients.
Yet, ECT has the potential to lead to memory loss nausea, disorientation and muscular discomforts. Other options for therapy, such the prescription of antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers could be considered in the beginning. Treatment options include psychotherapy and behavioural therapy.
Although Cotard delusions can be effectively treated, it could take some time to determine the right treatment, and this doesn’t mean that every person suffering from it can be treated.