What Is Capgras Syndrome?
Capgras syndrome is a rare but serious condition that causes victims to believe they are being held captive or have been kidnapped by someone else. They may even experience other bizarre behaviors such as self mutilation, extreme fear, and hallucinations. While most people with capgras syndrome do not suffer from any significant mental health problems, it does cause them great distress and anxiety.
The term “capgras” comes from the Spanish word “cappuccino,” which means “coffee.” People suffering from capgras syndrome often develop a strong craving for coffee. Some sufferers will actually drink their own blood, urine, or vomit it out to get the caffeine they crave. Other sufferers may try to eat parts of themselves to satisfy their cravings.
Symptoms of Capgras Syndrome:
The person suffers from delusions and hallucinations. They may believe they are being held hostage or abducted by another individual. They may also experience other strange behavior such as self mutilation, extreme fear, and hallucinations. A few sufferers will attempt suicide or harm others in some way to relieve their stress.
They may even be paranoid of someone in particular or of authority figures in general. In some cases, a family member, friend, or caregiver are suspected of being the imposter.
Treating Capgras Syndrome:
People suffering from capgras syndrome can benefit from various types of therapy. A combination of medication and supportive psychotherapy can help the victim cope with their delusions and hallucinations. If the patient suffers from any eating disorder, this condition needs to be addressed as well.
Capgras Syndrome Causes:
The exact cause of Capgras syndrome is unclear and it is still not well understood by mental health professionals. The most common theory is that the brain dysfunction causes a disconnect between what the brain “feels” should be real and what the victim experiences as their surroundings. In some extreme cases, a brain injury may cause capgras syndrome. It can also be brought on by other illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Capgras Syndrome and Mental Health:
While most people with Capgras syndrome do not suffer from any other mental health concern, a small percentage may have other issues such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It is important for caregivers and loved ones to know the difference in order to provide the best care for the victim.
Capgras Syndrome in Pop Culture:
The popular novel and movie “Call Boy” follows the story of a man who develops Capgras syndrome after suffering a traumatic head injury. The movie also explores his beliefs that his sister, friends, and girlfriend have been replaced with duplicates.
If you or a loved one are suffering from capgras syndrome and have questions, feel free to contact a counselor at BetterAddictionCare. We are here 24/7 to answer your questions and concerns about capgras syndrome or other mental health conditions. Don’t suffer in silence, pick up the phone and call today!
Sources & references used in this article:
Capgras’ syndrome by RJ Berson – 1982 – academicworks.cuny.edu
Capgras syndrome: a reduplicative phenomenon by MP Alexander, DT Stuss, DF Benson – Neurology, 1979 – AAN Enterprises
Capgras’ syndrome: the delusion of substitution. by SF Signer – The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 1987 – psycnet.apa.org