17-year-old Haley Smith spent three years of her life convinced she was dead due to a rare medical condition – the ultra-rare illness Cotard’s Syndrome – also known as ‘Walking Corpse Syndrome’. She quite literally thought she was already dead, but walking around. And not on a TV show.
But with the help of a therapist – and, believe it or not, Disney films – she has recovered… we think.
Hat tip / The Daily Mail:
Cases of Cotard’s Syndrome date back to 1788 but it was formally identified by French neurologist Jules Cotard in 1880.
Among the handful of cases over the years was a 53-year-old woman in New York who in 2008 claimed that she stank like rotting fish because she was dead.
Like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, Cotard’s is another form of delusional psychosis, the only self-certifiable form of its kind.
Sufferers such as Hayley Smith (with her boyfriend, Jeremy) often die from starvation because they feel they no longer have to eat. But with the help of a therapist – and Disney films – she has now recovered.
‘I’d fantasise about having picnics in graveyards and I’d spend a lot of time watching horror films because seeing the zombies made me feel relaxed, like I was with family.’ As time went by, Haley decided to embrace her ‘new’ life.
‘I decided to eat whatever I wanted because I couldn’t put on weight if I was dead,’ she said. She stopped talking to her friends who suspected something was wrong.
Miss Smith said: ‘Watching Disney films gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. I asked my boyfriend Jeremy: “How can I be dead when Disney makes me feel this good?”’
Eventually, in despair, she spoke to one of them about her situation.
She said: ‘I thought he’d think I was a freak but he just nodded and listened.
‘It gave me the confidence to tell my dad.’ Her father, Floyd, urged her to see a psychiatrist.
She’s a lot better looking than the corpses on “The Walking Dead” anyway and I hope she realizes that she’s alive. Kinda looks like Jeremy knows the truth..
Friend me on Facebook – if you dare. No one turned away.
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