Now I have always been a fan of the undead, zombies, ghost, and vampires…spooky stuff; all of the recent humorous conversations around the zombie apocalypse is tremendous fun, so much fun to be had combining something scary and something funny. These topics may seem silly to most, depending on where you live, but in the past they were of real concern and I love reading the histories, mythologies, and superstitions in different countries and time periods. These topics are not just relegated to the past, from the movies to modern day accounts even in the U.S., not just countries with a history of Voodoo or other such beliefs, the stories of the undead abound even today.
The whole purpose of this post came from a subject I was not familiar with but I was able to listen to partly on a radio show I can’t recall, it was possibly NPR because I love to listen to them. Let me say that when I hear of a subject like this that is completely new to me and skirts some subjects that I have a long held fascination with, since I am a writer of supernatural paranormal subjects, well I can’t resist delving a little deeper and writing about it. So to quit beating around the bush, the topic is called Cotard’s Syndrome, named after the neurologist Jules Cotard. Cotard’s Syndrome is a rare mental illness in which a person believes they are actually dead. There are varying degrees to the delusions the person holds from the extreme belief they are actually dead, to believing they do not exist, to missing body parts and all the way to simple depression.
When I was listening to the small portion of the program that brought up the subject I was intrigued, the idea that someone may feel they are actually dead when they are walking, talking and breathing is fascinating. I have always loved books and movies with subject matter with the living dead as the central themes and here was a subject discussing the dead living. Either way you say it, the meaning is the same I guess, but for me this was a different take on an old subject for me. Now this is an entirely different subject really and has nothing to do with the stories I grew up loving and write about now; the conversation just caught my attention and I made an odd connection between them. But this does make me wonder how someone would have this view of themselves, what could have happened to someone’s mental state for the belief to take hold? Whether it was a specific event, a chemical imbalance or a mental state, where one’s own self-worth is degraded to such an extent that it simply doesn’t exist is a profound question.
I am not a neuroscientist or a psychologist; I’m just a simple writer with interest in the strange and the philosophical. I think there is a story in everything and I always hope to find the one that will inspire me to create something great. The world is immense and strange in every way, from the B horror movies I love to the rarest of human conditions they may be inspired from: I consider it all amazing. If there is one thing I know it is the fact that I don’t know everything, I am still learning every day. I am always trying to live that old saying and have a greater understanding of myself. As of this moment I believe I can safely say I am alive; the fact that I am even pondering that question is almost scary. Maybe I will play a game, put me in a box and you too can consider my existence as we experience a world full of surprises.