Cotard’s Syndrome or Walking Corpse Syndrome is a mental disorder in which the patient suffers from delusions that he or she has lost vital body organs, limbs, blood, or even their living soul. There are a number of psychiatric reports and news items on the internet that describe the Cotard’s Syndrome patient’s decent into the world of the undead, some of which are highly reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.
In extreme cases, individuals believe that they have died and claim that they can smell their own rotting flesh and feel worms crawling under their skin. Sufferers can feel immortal and may test their own mortality by attempting suicide.
Unfortunately, to my disappointment, I discovered that symptoms do not include groaning, stiff and straight arms, rolling eyeballs, a staggered walk and a desire to eat brains. Have these psychiatrists ever seen a George A. Romero flick?! Bah.