People through Cotard"s syndrome (likewise dubbed walking corpse syndrome or Cotard"s delusion) think that components of their body are lacking, or that they are dying, dead, or don’t exist. They might think nopoint exists.

You are watching: Webmd you are already dead

Cotard"s syndrome is rare, through around 200 recognized instances international.

Though the symptoms are too much, most human being obtain much better via treatment.


People through this syndrome regularly come to be much much less social. Sometimes, they might sheight speaking at all. Some hear voices that tell them they"re dead or dying.

Others might refuse to eat (bereason, among other factors, they see no point because they"re "dead"). Some might try to damage themselves.

In one well-recorded instance of Cotard"s syndrome reported in 2008, a 53-year-old womale was admitted to the hospital after their family members referred to as 911. They said the womale thought that they were dead and smelled prefer rotting fish. They also asked to be taken to a morgue because they wanted to be with dead civilization.


It"s not clear what reasons Cotard"s syndrome. We execute recognize that it"s regularly a symptom of a deeper medical trouble that affects the brain, such as:

Parkinson’s diseaseBleeding that happens exterior the brain bereason of a serious brain injury (your doctor might call it subdural bleeding)

Some experts think Cotard"s syndrome outcomes from 2 types of brain damages. The initially changes the means civilization watch themselves. The second provides them continue to believe this false view, also once they’re presented it’s not true. Not everyone agrees through this concept, though.

Who Gets It?

Cotard"s syndrome deserve to happen at almost any kind of age, though it strikes many world in their beforehand 50s. Many type of human being that have actually it also have a background of psychological wellness troubles, especially:

Substance abuse

Most have some kind of brain damages that reflects up on imaging tests. The harm may come from:

A tumorAn injury

In addition, Cotard"s syndrome may reason bipolar disorder in teenagers and also young adults.


It have to be straightforward to spot. The difficulty is that it’s a symptom of another problem, not a disease. And it’s not noted in the DSM. That"s the handbook used to diagnose mental health and wellness troubles. The truth it"s not in tright here implies tright here are no firm rules to guide physicians.

It"s typically diagnosed after medical professionals ascendancy out other conditions that look prefer it. One such disorder is Capgras syndrome, when a perkid believes a friend or household member has actually been reinserted by an identical fake. It"s additionally referred to as "imposter syndrome."


Doctors have actually many type of means to treat Cotard"s syndrome. The usual technique is to treat the medical problem that"s resulting in it.

Most people carry out best via a combination of medication and a kind of talk treatment, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or psychotherapy. Both of these carry out a safe area for human being to talk about just how they feel and assist them discover healthier methods to think and act.

Medicines offered to treat Cotard"s syndrome include:

AntipsychoticsAntianxiety drugs

Many civilization require more than one kind.

If medicines and talk therapy don"t assist, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an choice. It sends little electrical currental fees through the brain. This transforms the brain’s chemisattempt and also might clear some psychological wellness symptoms.

See more: How To Get More Likes On Musically, Musically Followers Hack Tool

ECT have the right to cause side results prefer memory loss and also confusion. So it’s often a last rekind. Medical Reference


International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice: “‘I am dead’: Cotard syndrome and dementia.”

The Key Care Companion for CNS Disorders: “‘I’m dead, so why perform I should eat?’” “Cotard Syndrome Resulting from Valacyclovir Toxicity.”

The Journal of Neuropsychiaattempt and Clinical Neurosciences: “A Neuropsychiatric Analysis of the Cotard Delusion.”

Cognitive Neuropsychiatry: “Factor one, familiarity and also frontal cortex: an obstacle to the two-variable theory of delusions.”

Bipolar Disorder: “Cotard’s syndrome in teens and also young adults is linked with an boosted danger of bipolar disorder.”

National Institutes of Health: "I"m Dead, So Why Do I Need to Eat?"

Click to check out privacy policy and trust details