This is ridiculously fascinating, and terrifying beyond belief!
A man named Graham (full name omitted for his anonymity) has something called Cotard's syndrome, which is extremely rare. People who suffer from this believe that they, or parts of their body, no longer exist! Graham's surfaced after a botched attempt to kill himself, after getting into a tub with an appliance.
When he woke up, Graham found that he was dead — regardless of the fact that he's clearly not, and that doctors tell him so on a regular basis!
"When I was in hospital I kept on telling them that the tablets weren't going to do me any good ’cause my brain was dead. I lost my sense of smell and taste. I didn't need to eat, or speak, or do anything. I ended up spending time in the graveyard because that was the closest I could get to death.
"I just felt like my brain didn't exist any more. I kept on telling the doctors that the tablets weren't going to do me any good because I didn't have a brain. I'd fried it in the bath."
Like we said, even when doctors try to reason with him, he just refuses to believe:
"I just got annoyed. I didn't know how I could speak or do anything with no brain, but as far as I was concerned I hadn't got one."
The crazy part about all this? Graham had some science to back him up!
They did a PET scan on his brain, and found that it was shockingly similar to people in a VEGETATIVE STATE. This doctor explains:
"I've been analysing PET scans for 15 years and I've never seen anyone who was on his feet, who was interacting with people, with such an abnormal scan result. Graham's brain function resembles that of someone during anaesthesia or sleep. Seeing this pattern in someone who is awake is quite unique to my knowledge."
This is blowing our minds! It must have been HELL to live like this! Luckily, he doesn't have to anymore — because after a lot of time, psychotherapy and drug treatment, he improved and is no longer in the grip of the disorder!
Here's what he says now:
"I couldn't say I'm really back to normal, but I feel a lot better now and go out and do things around the house. I don't feel that brain-dead any more. Things just feel a bit bizarre sometimes. I'm not afraid of death. But that's not to do with what happened – we're all going to die sometime. I'm just lucky to be alive now."
We can only hope he stays this way, now! What a horrible thing to have gone through — and the fact that it was rare and nobody really knew how to handle it made it all just that much worse!
[Image via AP Images.]