Could this be David Shearer?

Walking Corpse Syndrome


When I first saw that headline I thought, it must be an article about David Shearer after the latest polls…turns out it isn’t. 

The British man, identified only as Graham, woke up nine years ago utterly convinced that he was no longer alive even though he was still breathing.

Doctors diagnosed him with Cotard’s Syndrome, which is also known as ‘Walking Corpse Syndrome’ because it makes people think they have turned into zombies.

Graham did not believe them, however, and insisted that his brain was dead.

The unusual condition emerged after Graham, who suffered from severe depression, tried to commit suicide by taking an electrical appliance with him into the bath.

Eight months later he told doctors that his brain had died or was, at best, missing.

He lost interest in smoking, stopped speaking and refused to eat as there was “no point because I was dead”.

Only through months of therapy and treatment was he able to overcome the condition and live anything approaching a normal life.

Cotard’s Syndrome is among the most rare diseases in the world and it is thought that it affects just few hundred people at any one time.

It is linked to depression and comes in a variety of forms including some who feel that their limbs are no longer functioning.


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  • Saccharomyces

    I saw this article this morning, pretty freaky stuff!

    It’s kind of funny when you think we’ve got all these diagnoses and things for everything these days, 100 years ago you would’ve been “just nuts”.

    400/500 years ago youd’ve been exorcised or burnt at the stake!

  • rockape

    Could I use this as an excuse for not paying my taxes?

    • DavidW

      Only if your kids use it as a reason to grab their inheritances

    • richard.b

      Is your name Matt McCarten?

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        I believe Matt Vomit McCarten is preparing a column titled “Why the recent polls are bad news for John Key” for the NZ Horrid this Sunday.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Good try. But Norman would extract tax out of even a dead man.

  • Mediaan

    “And that, Your Honour, is why ACC video showing me chopping wood and moving pianos has no bearing on whether or not I can work.”

    • Lopsy

      What he said.

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    David Shearer is the opposite. He thinks he is alive when he is actually dead from the waist up.

  • Dr Wang