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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286


Are Drugs Always the Proper Solution to Therapeutic Dilemmas? Non-drug Approaches to the Post-traumatic Stress “Waking Corpse” Syndrome

Author(s): Konstantinos Laios, Gregory Tsoucalas, Dimitrios A. Vrachatis*, Antonis Charalampakis, Gregory Androutsos and Marianna Karamanou

Volume 25 , Issue 1 , 2019

Page: [1 - 4] Pages: 4

DOI: 10.2174/138161282501190514091805


Jules Cotard (1840-1889), a Parisian neurologist, described a syndrome of delirium negations which was later named after him. Some physicians in antiquity and medieval times, especially in Asia, have noticed this syndrome and categorized it as a symptom of melancholy. They have presented it as a "walking corpse syndrome", inflicting most probably veteran soldiers after suffering during ferocious battles, presenting the first cases of a post war traumatic stress disorder. Philotimus (3rd-2nd century BC) was the first to record it around 3rd century BC, and proposed a simple but pioneering treatment, by just putting a lead hat on the men's heads. Although various combined treatment strategies were proposed by modern psychiatry including pharmaceutical, electroconvulsive therapy, behavioural therapy and supportive psychotherapy, it seems that in antiquity a simple external intervention of supportive therapy was the main concept of confrontation, while drug administration was to be avoided.

Keywords: Cotard's syndrome, walking corpse syndrome, Philotimus, Isḥaq Ibn-Imran, post war traumatic stress disorder, supportive psychotherapy.

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