Cotards Syndrome – Causes, Symptoms, Stages and Risk Factors


A mental disorder called Cotards syndrome also known as the Cotards delusion, the Nihilistic Delusion, and the walking corpse syndrome. Cotards Delusion is a rare mental disorder causing the patient to believe that they are dead or do not exist, according to a 2004 study in the European Journal of Neurology. The syndrome is most commonly witnessed suffering from migraines, tumors or trauma. People with Cotards syndrome may also believe they have missed certain organs or body parts, or they may believe their soul has died.

1700s psychologist Mademoiselle X discovered Cotards Delusion. Mile X, who claimed to have no brain, nerves, chest, even stomach, and also believed she was immortal because she believed she was immortal and had no stomach she did not ear and died of starvation. Denial of one’s existence of themselves or the world around them nihilistic and distorted sense of reality.

Cotards syndrome is a very serious disease it attacks the mind and causes you to believe you are dead or missing organs. Cotards syndrome was first discovered in the 1700’s. Mexican sample over a 2 year period: 11% of patients had Cotards syndrome (with metal disturbance). The patient believes that he or she was dead and was immortal and did not need to eat. Sufferers reject food, hygiene and surroundings. Cotards delusion can be treated with therapy and heavy drugs. It can never really go away but with medication it can get better. It can be cured but many are not so lucky and eventually commit suicide.

Three Stages of Cotards Delusion:

  • Germination (Depression and Hypochondria)
  • Blooming (Delusion of negation and full development)
  • Chronic (Severe delusions and chronic depression)


Symptoms: Neglect of hygiene, depression, belief their dead and negative thoughts, and being increasing loss of reality and sense of self.

Causes: Schizophrenia, bipolar disease, reaction to acyclovir, development increases with age, women are more vulnerable, malfunction in an area of the brain, and differs by ethnicity.

Its inherited no one has born with it people that are so depressed are most likely to get this disorder. They believe they running out of blood, they think they have worms under the skin. The patients believe that the tablets were not going to help them, brain was dead, lost the sense of smell and taste, need not to eat, or speak, or do anything they ended up their lives spending time in the graveyard because that was the closest they could get to death. The patients are convinced they are dead a recent PET scan showed the brain activity of a Cotards sufferer resembling that of someone in a vegetative state.

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