Monday, June 13, 2011

Medical Mondays: I am a Zombie

Hello fellow writers! Today's post is one to help fuel your imagination.

Cotard Syndrome is a rare disorder in which the sufferer believes that he/she is:
  • dead
  • decomposing/putrifying
  • missing internal organs
  • not actually existing
  • immortal
It is named after Jules Cotard, a French neurologist who first described it in 1880. It's been observed in people after head trauma, and may be related to Capgras Delusion (see my earlier post, "Are You My Mother?"), in which a person believes a loved one has been replaced by an imposter.

It can be observed in those with schizophrenia, biploar disorder and is often associated with those suffering depression. Keep in mind that though it has relationships with these disorders, it is still a very rare disorder.

Treatment includes treating the underlying disorder (such as schizophrenia).

Hmm. In writing, Cotard Syndrome would bring a whole other dimension to the zombie trends out there, wouldn't it?

Please keep in mind this post is for writing purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice.

If you've got a fictional medical question, let me know! Post below or email me at
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52 comments:

mooderino said...

Very interesting. Although I'm not sure encouraging more zombie novels is a good idea.

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm glad not to be dealing with this syndrome. I love learning something new.

Sarah said...

I think this disorder could really fuel the plot of a horror novel, for sure! As always, very interesting!

Laura Pauling said...

It would be a great faux zombie novel!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Glad I haven'y got that syndrome.
Very interesting to read though.
Yvonne.

Christine Danek said...

This very interesting. It would make a great novel. **thinking**
Thanks

Read my books; lose ten pounds! said...

zombie books freak me out.

-E- said...

didn't know there were zombie novels. good info!

Em-Musing said...

Ha! My grown daughters might say I have this disorder because ever since living on my own, they say they don't know me anymore. My only head trauma is I finally got it screwed on right now.

Anne Gallagher said...

Wow, there are actual people who believe this??? Those poor souls.

salarsenッ said...

That has got to be one heck of a disorder to live with...or for those who live with the sufferer. Geez....

Olivia Green said...

That's definitely something to think about, thank you. And now you made me want to actually read a zombie novel. Does anyone have any suggestions? :)

Sommer Leigh said...

I think this disorder would make for an excellent short story plot twist!

Old Kitty said...

It's a very sad disorder really. Glad it's rare but I feel very sorry for those suffering this - oh dear!

Take care
x

lynnrush said...

Oh wow. This COULD bring a whole other dimension to the zombie trends for sure.

Great post.

Paul S said...

The implications for the sufferer and their loved ones must be terrifying.
I feel uneasy just thinking about it.
Have a great week Lydia.

Slamdunk said...

Not familiar with that one Lydia. I think you started some idea fires here as usual though.

Emily Rose said...

Whoa, that is something.

Carol Kilgore said...

Eewww. I'm glad it's rare.
Happy Monday!

Bee said...

No wonder I don't get zombie love interests *shakes head
Seriously, falling in love with a decomposing immortal? :O

Linda Gray said...

Eeuwww! Dead and rotting and immortal! Oh yeah, zombies. What a way to go.

Bossy Betty said...

An interesting dinner guest to be sure!

Munk said...

What do you call it when you believe yourself a plant... bent on the destroying zombies?

Meredith said...

That is too strange! Someone definitely needs to write a book about this!

Suze said...

Lydia, this reminds me of some of the sensations experienced by those with pronounced 'schizoidal' personality-- which is something different from schizophrenia, though the two share overlap and tend to 'run in families.' According to some reading I have done, schizoidal personalities sometimes sense a quite literal blurring of boundaries between self and others.

It is interesting that something as fundamental as our experience of our own bodies is a deeply neurological phenomenon.

Erin Cole said...

Very interesting, Lydia. Yes, I think I see the connection too. Our brain is one wild universe. If we don't take care of it, we might as well be a zombie.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Very interesting, Lydia. This has really tempted me to create a character with Cotard Syndrome in a future book. Thanks for the information.

Alleged Author said...

Whoa! I couldn't imagine have this syndrome. Already scared of the IDEA of zombies, don't need to believe the hubby IS one. Loved the post. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You just gave someone an idea for a new book! Not me, but someone.

Talli Roland said...

Yikes! Love how you've related this to the zombie trend.

vbtremper said...

Okay. Yuck. Just...yuck.

-Vicki

Heather said...

You're right, that could bring a very interesting twist to the zombie trend! Wow, there is no end to the interesting disorders of the mind are there?!

Connie said...

Wow. I'm imagining what fun you could have with this in a zombie novel.

Olga said...

How very very strange. Although I guess everything is possible.

M Pax said...

I find these brain trauma disorders quite intriquing.

Jennifer Hillier said...

WOW! Stuff like this really exists? Imagine suffering from this and actually thinking you were decomposing. Just, wow.

notesfromnadir said...

Ooohh, more zombies! Like we don't see 'em in enough movies & read 'em in enough books. Now I gotta check out the Capgras Delusion guy. You have some fun blogs!

The Golden Eagle said...

That's an . . . interesting disorder. It's amazing to me that it actually exists!

Karen Lange said...

Okay, so never heard of this one either. Wow, to think of the potential this might have in a story...

This kinda reminds me of my great aunt who thought she had a tape worm. She was in her 90's at the time and also thought there were people spying on her, so we didn't take it all that seriously. Other than have her checked out to make sure she was really okay. :)

Susan Fields said...

How fascinating - I had no idea there was such a thing. I'm glad to hear it's rare!

Krispy said...

In writing, Cotard Syndrome would bring a whole other dimension to the zombie trends out there, wouldn't it?

Definitely! That is a very juicy bit of food for thought!

julie fedderson said...

This happened to me during finals week in college, when I stayed up three nights in a row doing a thesis on Star Trek, the Next Generation. Oh, wait, that was Picard Syndrome. LOL. Love your obscure medical syndrome, Lydia.

levian said...

haha! interesting disorder, i believe it's the mind. like what people often said, you are what you believed you are! :)

Hanny said...

Is someone with this syndrome "Cotarded?" Sorry! Bad taste, I know!

BECKY said...

How interesting! Lydia, you always have the most awesome info for us!!

Jennee said...

Huh. How do you find these? This would definitely make things in the writing world a little more interesting.

This is a small medical question but how long do brain aneurisms last before it kills you?

Shelley Munro said...

Hmmm, immediately the story ideas are flying around. I'd never heard of this before.

lbdiamond said...

Yup, this is definitely fiction fodder. ;)

Matthew MacNish said...

This is awesome. You should eventually write a medical Monday post about how it's possible for a character to be alive, and yet have no pulse:

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/13/137029208/heart-with-no-beat-offers-hope-of-new-lease-on-life

Ciara said...

Never heard of this. I always learn so much from your posts. :)

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I've never heard of this before. So interesting!

Carol Riggs said...

That is SO weird!! Thanks for enlightening us. Wow, zombie syndrome...

 
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