Catching up on your summer reading? Feeling freaked out walking back home from a friend’s place in the dark, because it involves re-reading Twilight for a touch of the modern and Frankenstein for something from the past, and that tree looks like it just might reach out and grab you?
Feel no assurance, then, in the fact that some people are literally walking zombies. And, yes, they might grab you. (OK, it’s unlikely, but they might actually be waiting around the next corner, in order to pounce).
Here it is: according to iflscience.com a rare- I will emphasize rare, but actually real- mental disorder called Cotard’s Delusion causes people hang out in cemeteries. Patients suffering from this illness have the misfortune of believing they are missing body parts, like an arm or their brain, or even that they are actually dead and they want to ‘be with their own kind’.
Victims are said to often stop bathing or eating until they get treatment.
Why does it happen? According to the popular science site, Cotard’s Delusion “is connected to a dysfunction in the areas of the brain responsible for recognizing and associating emotions with faces, including their own. This causes a complete emotional detachment and removes any sense of personal identity when looking at their bodies.”
Experts have prescribed everything from anti-depressants to anti-psychotics and mood stabilizing drugs in an effort to set things right for the victims.
Surprisingly, electroconvulsive therapy has also been used, which is essentially shock therapy.
My conclusion? Yes, sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.