Walking corpse syndrome is a very rare neurological disease, formerly known as Cotard’s Syndrome or Cotard’s Delusion, named after the French neurologist Jules Cotard. Cotard’s observations with his patient, Mademoiselle X, earned him the right to have the disease to be named after him, but his patient’s case, circa 1888, was not the first ever recorded.
In 1788, Dr. Charles Bonnet treated an elderly woman with “the powder of precious stones and opium” after insisting she was dead and in another place. She had demanded she be placed in a coffin and mourned after recovering from a short spell of paralysis and loss of sensation or feeling. The treatment worked for her, but she would have occasional relapses afterward.
This syndrome or delusion has nothing to do with “Zombie Apocalypse”, as covered by Health Ranger Mike Adams during some very strange episodes in 2012 in Miami and other spots in that region.
Those were delusional flesh eating Zombie episodes, where a few physically healthy and well fed individuals were compelled to eat live animal or human flesh. You can read that here (http://www.naturalnews.com/035990_zombie_apocalypse_miami_police.html).
Extremely rare Cotard Syndrome is the opposite of any zombie delusions. Victims are convinced they are dead or their organs are dead, including their brain in some cases. But they usually don’t want to eat. After all, they’re dead, so why bother?
Besides, there’s no pleasure in eating anymore. Some victims even die of starvation. A loss of feeling and sensation is at the core of this delusion.
Social disconnects are also basic to this delusion. Human interaction is avoided. There’s just no interest. At 14 years of age, Alabama teen Haley Smith had suffered emotionally during her parents divorce. One day in her English class, she had a feeling she couldn’t shake that she was dead. The school nurse couldn’t detect anything.
Haley’s eating disorder was different than most other cases of Cotard’s Syndrome. She decided that she could eat how much of whatever she wanted to eat since she was dead and wouldn’t gain weight or suffer other health consequences. She had a brief spontaneous recovery, but soon after that totally numb feeling returned.
“I’d fantasize about having picnics in graveyards and I’d spend a lot of time watching horror films because seeing the zombies made me feel relaxed, like I was with family,” Haley explained. She spent a lot of time in bed and often missed school, until one day she attempted to reconnect with one of her friends.
Surprised and emboldened by his understanding her experience, she disclosed her condition with her dad. He urged her to see a psychiatrist. But it took Haley another two years to actually do it. Then she was diagnosed with Cotard’s Syndrome (CS). With that handle, she went online to discover others who felt out of touch with their bodies and wanted to visit graveyards. Now she knew she wasn’t alone.
Talk therapy helped her pull through as well as her relationship with her boyfriend, now fiance’ Jeremy, and Disney movies. She had started to watch and enjoy them, getting “warm fuzzy feelings”. That made her begin to realize she wasn’t dead. Now she’s set on advising others who suffer from CS.
Haley was lucky she didn’t succumb to psychiatry’s other solutions: Anti-depressant and anti-psychotic pharmaceuticals with unpredictability and serious side effects, or ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Yes, good ole’ shock therapy! Those are the go-to standard of care interventions of conventional psychiatry.
Her solution was through talk therapy, a boyfriend, and Disney. You might consider time for her to heal from the trauma of her parents divorce as another aspect of Haley’s healing.