HealthUnveiling the perplexing facts of Cotard's syndrome. When living feels like being dead

Unveiling the perplexing facts of Cotard's syndrome. When living feels like being dead

Unveiling the perplexing facts of Cotard's syndrome. When living feels like being dead
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6:57 PM EST, January 15, 2024

This state was first described in 1880 by French neurologist Jules Cotard, after whom it's named.

What causes Cotard's syndrome?

Cotard's syndrome is most commonly found in individuals with severe depression, but it can also be present in cases of schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder, or those suffering from brain injury, brain tumors, neurodegenerative diseases, and multiple sclerosis.

Current research suggests that the incorrect functioning of certain areas of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and temporoparietal region, may play a role in developing this disease. This was revealed by Dr. Ewa Stawiarska, a physician referred to by the online community as "Doctor for Seven Woes" on Instagram.

No precise statistics exist on the frequency of this disease, as it is rarely recognized as a separate disorder. It's generally treated as a symptom of other diseases.

Recognizing the symptoms of Cotard's syndrome

Cotard's syndrome is a seldom-seen mental state where the patient truly believes that they are dead, non-existent, or that they have lost parts of their body, for instance, limbs or organs.

Those with Cotard's syndrome are usually agitated, experience significant distress and anxiety, and may also firmly believe in their own decay. In extreme cases, they may refuse to eat or drink as they are convinced that being dead, they don't need nourishment. They may have a distorted sense of pain and suicidal tendencies.

How is Cotard's syndrome treated?

The treatment of Cotard's syndrome is intricate and depends on the source of the symptoms. It may encompass pharmacotherapy, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers, and psychotherapy.

An individualized therapeutic approach, curated to suit the needs and symptoms of each patient, is recommended.

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