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Capgras syndrome is a mental disorder characterized by an absurd delusion - the patient is convinced that a known person, e.g. a spouse, is replaced by a double. Therefore, the sick considers her to be a stranger, a trickster. What are the causes of Capgras syndrome? Are delusions accompanied by other symptoms? Is it possible to cure this disorder?

What is Capgras syndrome?

Capgras syndrome , otherwiseSosia syndrome , is a mental disorder characterized by the presence of specific delusions - the patient claims a person known to him ( or several people), e.g. a family member, friend, neighbor, was replaced by a person with the same appearance and behavior. The person's face is still correctly recognized by the affected person, but there is no psychological or physiological emotional response associated with a sense of trust or intimacy.

Capgras syndrome belongs to the so-calleddelusional misidentification syndrome(Englishdelusional misidentification syndrome- DMS) - groups of sexual delusional disorders. A patient diagnosed with this type of delusion is convinced that people, objects or places around him have lost or changed their identity.

The delusional misidentification syndrome also includes Fregoli syndrome (a condition opposite to Capgras syndrome), as well as intermetamorphosis and double syndrome.

Capgras syndrome - causes

Capgras syndrome may be the result of damage to the neural structures in the brain that connect the facial recognition center with the limbic system, responsible for assigning emotional states to recognized objects. It can occur as a result of a mechanical injury (also during operations within the brain), after a stroke, brain hematomas, rupture of aneurysms. This type of disorder may also appear in the course of senile dementia. However, delusions of this nature are most often observed in schizophrenics.

Capgras syndrome - symptoms

The patient claims that a close person (or several people) has been replaced by a double, and sometimes by a robot or an extraterrestrial. However, he cannot logically explain the purpose for which such an operation was performed. Nevertheless, the belief in the substitution continuesthe string is held and cannot be persuaded in any way.

Interestingly, the patient does not try to search for replaced persons, nor is he even curious about what happened to them. Usually it focuses on activities aimed at exposing the "fraudster". He may also behave very aggressively towards the imaginary double, and even attempt to annihilate him. Other patients may show fear of the allegedly replaced person.

The disease may progress and deepen delusions over time. Then the sick person may claim that at night someone or something changed his personal belongings to look identical. If there is an animal in the house (a dog or a cat), it may make the surroundings believe that the animal has also been replaced with another one of the same appearance.

In extreme cases, the patient may claim that he or at least a part of his body has been replaced. Eventually, theMirror Misdiagnosis Syndromemay develop. The sick person may have doubts about their identity and not recognize themselves in the mirror. Then the insanity of jealousy can develop. You can get furiously jealous every time he sees his reflection, as he has the feeling that he is not watching himself but another man (or woman) trying to seduce his spouse.

Apart from delusions about the existence of doubles in the immediate environment, the patient usually does not present any other mental disorders.

Capgras syndrome most often affects eyesight. However, the occurrence of this disorder in blind people was described, with the difference, however, that it related to hearing (a familiar voice was interpreted as "substituted").

Capgras syndrome - treatment

It is a very rare mental disorder, therefore, individually selected psychotherapy is used, during which the stage of delusions is determined. In addition, antipsychotics are administered.

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