Cotard's Syndrome

Cotard’s Syndrome

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The patient begins to think that he is dead. Sometimes the patient also begins to believe that he cannot feel the existence of any vital part of his body. Many times he can even claim himself as immortal.

Psychological Disease 01:

In 2006, some New York psychologists saw a strange patient. The 53-year-old patient’s name was Miss Lee. He was talking about some bizarre things to his family members. The words were something like, “I’m dead. My body smells of rotten meat. Do you not understand? Could you take me to the morgue? I will be there with the other dead. 

Although it sounds a bit ghostly, it is a mental disorder or brain disorder, called Cotard delusion or Cotard’s syndrome. It is also called Walking Corpse Syndrome. A neurologist gave the first idea in 180. Jules Cotard. Patients with Cutter’s syndrome often feel dead. 

What is Cotard’s syndrome?

Cotard’s syndrome is an illness or medical condition that causes the patient to begin to think; He’s dead. Sometimes the patient also begins to believe that he cannot feel the existence of any vital part of his body. Many times he can even claim himself as immortal. 

The disease was discovered in 180 by the famous French neurologist Jules Cotard. It is also called cathartic dilution. The tendency to pretend to be dead is often so evident in the patient’s behavior that the patient appears to be a seeming corpse. That is why many people call this disease ‘The Walking Corpse Syndrome.’ 


We can divide patients with Cotard’s syndrome into two groups.

In the first type, Patients are in a kind of delusion. The illusion is a bit strange and spooky. They think that there are no vital organs in their bodies or that the organs are rotting or that there is no blood in their bodies. That is, their brains produce information that a living person is not supposed to have. 

The patient thinks that maybe his family or someone else’s life could have been better without him. As a result, he thinks of a world where he will not be alone. That is, the patient considers himself dead to attain spiritual peace.

Interestingly, type 2 patients are again in complete confusion. They also think like type 1 patients that there is a massive defect in his body. But their brains arrange things differently. They think that despite their flaws since they are alive, it means they are immortal. 

Dr. Julius Cotard, named after the disease himself, met a patient in 18, whom he identified as Mademoiselle X in his notebook. This Miss X said something baseless to Dr. Cotard. “I don’t have a brain, and I don’t have a stomach, I don’t have a feeling.” He considered himself immortal, and for this, he stopped eating. Later he died from not eating. 


The first and foremost symptom of Cutter’s syndrome is a Nihilistic attitude. The essence of this attitude is that life has no meaning; nothing has any purpose. People who suffer from Cutter’s Syndrome think that this whole world is an illusion or a fantasy, that it is impossible to find any real existence. 

Most of the patients with Cotard’s syndrome suffer from depression. A 2011 study found that depression is among the most common symptoms of 79% of patients with Cotard’s syndrome. The study results, which looked at more than 100 case studies, found that the main symptoms were negative attitudes (69 percent), anxiety (75 percent), guilt confusion (63 percent), immortality (55 percent), and hypochondriac dilution. 56 percent). 

Which caused them to begin to think of their own lives and existence as trivial and meaningless. The tendency to think of oneself as insignificant and non-existent also affects their way of life. Many lose the purpose of life. Living aimlessly and wandering becomes their daily routine. 

Patients with this disease spend days after days without taking a bath. Many people stop cutting their nails and hair. Because they have their own bodies’ dead’! Many people have one more stick! After responding to the call of nature, reluctance to perform the toilet is seen among them.

Many patients feel that they do not feel the presence of limbs and other vital organs. However, general medical examinations do not show any signs of paralysis or numbness. 


Diagnosing this strange disease is also quite a complicated matter. Because many organizations working on health are not adequately prepared to recognize it as a disease. That is why there is no definite way to diagnose it. 

The most reliable means of diagnosing whether a person is suffering from Walking Corpse Syndrome is to review the patient’s history and symptoms. Many tests can detect the presence of the disease,

  • CT scan (computed tomography scan) 
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) 
  • SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography) 
  • Electro-cephalogram


If someone suddenly starts to feel dead, the matter will not be enjoyable to his relatives. Because this mindset of feeling dead turns the patient into a zombie, it becomes a source of discomfort for the people around him. 

Patients with Cotard’s syndrome stop taking baths or wearing clothes, which leads to skin diseases, and acquaintances begin to move away from them. This exacerbates the patient’s loneliness and depression. Besides, their health started deteriorating due to not taking food and drink. Many patients die prematurely due to stopping eating and drinking. 

People with Cutter’s syndrome often tend to become suicidal. This is because they think they are dead, and their souls are trapped in the wrong human body. So many people choose suicide to get rid of their bodies.



Various types of anti-depressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers work to cure walking corpse syndrome. The disease should be cured by observing the symptoms and taking regular medicine. For those who have bipolar disorder, mood stabilizers may work. 

Electro-convulsive therapy:

The use of anti-depressants and antipsychotic drugs, as well as electro-convulsive treatment, play a role in alleviating the symptoms of Cotard’s syndrome. A 2009 case study found that electro-convulsive therapy was more effective than medication in patients with the disease.