Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Called 'Cotard's Syndrome,' sufferers believe that they are among the living dead

Due to a very rare ailment called "Cotard's Syndrome," a U.K. man thought that he was literally a zombie, one of those shuffling brain eaters found in B-movies, after a failed suicide attempt. Fifty-seven-year-old Graham Harrison even took to frequenting graveyards as he felt he belonged there!

A former water contractor from Exeter, Devon, Graham Harrison (inset) woke up after a botched suicide attempt, amazed he was able to talk - because he was convinced he had no brain like one of the ghouls as seen in 'Night of the Living Dead.'

A former water contractor from Exeter, Devon, Graham Harrison (inset) woke up after a botched suicide attempt, amazed he was able to talk - because he was convinced he had no brain like one of the ghouls as seen in "Night of the Living Dead."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Cotard's syndrome, zombie, alienation, psychosis, alienation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Harrison described the nine years of hell he thought he was the living dead. He said he believed his brain had been "fried" after trying to electrocute himself and that he must be dead, even while continuing to breathe.

Cotard's Syndrome, also known as walking corpse syndrome is one of the rarest diseases in the world, affecting just a few hundred people. Sufferers believe they are dead, or that parts of their body no longer exist. Some die from starvation because they feel they no longer have to eat.

A former water contractor from Exeter, Devon, Harrison woke up after a botched suicide attempt, amazed he was able to talk - because he was convinced he had no brain. "I just got annoyed. I didn't know how I could speak nor do anything with no brain because as far as I was concerned I hadn't got one. My mind was blank. I couldn't hold any information in it. I took no pleasure from anything."

Harrison's feelings of dislocation and alienation intensified. "I lost my sense of smell and my sense of taste. There was no point in eating because I was dead. It was a waste of time speaking because I never had anything to say." Graham felt compelled to go to his local cemetery because he felt it was the only place he could fit in.

Cases of Cotard's Syndrome date back to 1788. It was formally identified by French neurologist Jules Cotard in 1880. Among the handful of cases over the years was a 53-year-old woman in New York who in 2008 claimed that she stank like rotting fish because she was dead.

Like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, Cotard's is another form of delusional psychosis, the only self-certifiable form of its kind.

Those who suffer from Cotard's often describe a loss of blood, organs and/or body parts.

This distorted reality is caused by a malfunction in an area of the brain called the fusiform gyrus, which recognizes faces, and also in the amygdala, an almond-shaped set of neurons that processes emotions.

A lack of recognition when viewing familiar faces -- even the face of the sufferer, leaves the person feeling disconnected with reality. There is currently no cure for Cotard's Syndrome.

There is a happy ending for Harrison. After years of psychotherapy and drug treatment, combined with help from providers and his brother, Graham gradually recovered and he is no longer in the grip of the disorder.

"I can't say I am really back to normal, but I feel a lot better now," he says.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Health

Scientists play God in controversial move to revive the dead Watch

Image of Can scientists bring the dead back to life (Pinterest)?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It sounds like the plot to a science fiction story but scientists are about to attempt to bring twenty certified dead people back to life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bioquark Inc., a biotech company, has received ethical permission to bring twenty brain-dead ... continue reading


Vatican teams up with United States to fight cancer Watch

Image of Pope Francis and Joe Biden talk cancer research at Vatican.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden paid Pope Francis a little visit on Friday to talk cancer and Christian persecution. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Biden traveled to the Vatican to attend a summit on regenerative medicine. While at the Vatican, Biden pushed ... continue reading


Fountain of youth discovered: Immortality no longer a myth Watch

Image of Doctor explains theory to keep humans alive for centuries (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

If given the option, would YOU choose to live forever? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Aubrey de Grey, the co-founder and chief science officer for Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescense (SENS) Research Foundation, believes the ongoing research ... continue reading


Are you bored? Here's why and here's how to fix it! Watch

Image of Boredom is usually caused by overstimulation.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Are you bored? Is boredom a constant visitor in your life? If so, you could be suffering from overstimulation. Fortunately, the condition is curable. Here's how. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Most Americans are chronically bored. According to British ... continue reading


2 billion in danger of Zika this summer - are YOU prepared? Watch

Image of Zika is expected to spread across the tropic and subtropical areas in Asia, Africa and the Americas (123rf).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists at the University of Oxford and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle estimate 2.2 billion people are at risk of contracting Zika. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A map published in the journal eLife indicated sections of South ... continue reading


Health insurance premiums about to rise for those who pay them Watch

Image of Obamacare is becoming more painful than ever.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Insurance companies are telling Obama and the American people they must permit them to raise rates substantially, or they will pull out of the Obamacare markets. This is more proof Obamacare is designed to fail. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Insurance ... continue reading


Sweaty billboards save lives? Watch

Image of The new billboard prototypes have been erected in Zika-infested countries (Posterscope/NBS).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hate mosquitoes? Love living the bug-free life? These crazy sweaty billboards are exactly what you need! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Billboards have been created to smell like human sweat while simultaneously shooting out carbon dioxide to attract, trap and ... continue reading


Is pornography the new cigarettes? Watch

Image of

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Is pornography the new cigarettes? According to some research, the answer is yes, prompting Utah officials to declare pornography a public health crisis. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In the 1950s, nearly half of all Americans smoked cigarettes. There was ... continue reading


Can't sleep? Then don't read this horrifying article about KILLER insomnia Watch

Image of Fatal Familial Insomnia is a horrifying killer. About 40 families in the world have the deadly genetic mutation in their genes.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Imagine one night, you prepare for bed, but you cannot sleep. It's the latest in a spat of insomnia that seems to be worsening. The sleepless nights turn into days, then weeks without sleep. Eventually, you lose the ability to sleep altogether. What's happening and ... continue reading


First Zika infection between gay couple reported in the United States Watch

Image of Zika affects everyone - regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation (Queerty).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed the case of sexually transmitted Zika virus between two men in Dallas, Texas. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One of the men had traveled to Venezuela, where he was bitten by a Zika=infected mosquito.When he returned ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Bl. Edward Jones: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • The gruesome way scientists are killing unborn babies in school ...
  • Historical Jubilee documents on display!
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Monday, May 9th, 2016 HD Video
  • 'The doctors were shocked': Conjoined twins share unusual bond

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 18:9-18
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, 'Be fearless; speak out ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, John 16:20-23
20 'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 6th, 2016 Image

Bl. Edward Jones
May 6: Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middleton, ... Read More