Cotard Syndrome (Scrubs)





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Published on Oct 21, 2009

Overview o First described by Dr. Jules Cotard in 1880 + He called it delusion of negations (delire des negations) o Believed it to be a new kind of depression + Anxiety + Hypochondriac Ideas + Nihilistic Delusions # Belief that the body or parts thereof are dead or missing. o Somatic Type Disorder o Distinct disorder or symptom of others? + Much debate within the field of psychology + No listing in DSM-IV-TR for this reason

Symptoms o Characteristic Symptom + Nihilistic Delusions # Delusion of nonexistence; a fixed belief that the mind, body , or world at large-or parts thereof-no longer exist o Comorbid Symptoms + Severe Depression + And/or schizophrenia + Possibly leads to bi-polar disorder

Causes o Biological + Traumatic Brain Injury + Organic Lesions of the Brain + Brain Atrophy + Chemical Imbalance # Low serotonin leading to depression # High dopamine leading to schizophrenia + Genetic predisposition

Causes cont. o Sociocultural + Common in the homeless # Society tends to ignore them # Depressive and/or schizophrenic symptoms bring about belief of nonexistence + Adolescents # Lack attention from family at home # Social outcasts in school + Social Labeling # Certain label requires certain behavior

Treatment o New Atypical Antipsychotics + More effective than traditional antipsychotics * Bind not only to D-2 dopamine receptor sites but also D-1 and serotonin receptors + Electroconvulsive Therapy # Short mild electric shocks triggering a seizure in the brain. # Sedatives, muscle relaxers and anesthesia + Sulpiride and other medications with both antipsychotic and antidepressant abilities o Most effective treatment varies with basic underlying disorders

Groups o 100 case study by Berrios and Luque + Broke Cotards down into 3 factors # Psychotic Depression * Melancholia and Few Nihilistic Delusions # Type I * Delusion prominent in comparison to depression # Type II (mixed group) * Anxiety, depression, and auditory illusions

Cotards Syndrome






Auditory Hallucinations

Visual Hallucinations

Nihilistic Delusions (body)

Nihilistic Delusions (concepts)

Nihilistic Delusions (existence)


Cases o A case study of Cotards syndrome: stages and diagnosis + Depression example o Cotards syndrome. A three case study + Schizophrenic example


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