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Are Drugs Always the Proper Solution to Therapeutic Dilemmas? Non-drug Approaches to the Post-traumatic Stress “Waking Corpse” Syndrome

[ Vol. 25 , Issue. 1 ]


Konstantinos Laios, Gregory Tsoucalas, Dimitrios A. Vrachatis*, Antonis Charalampakis, Gregory Androutsos and Marianna Karamanou   Pages 1 - 4 ( 4 )


Jules Cotard (1840-1889), a Parisian neurologist, described a syndrome of delirium negations which was later named after him. Some physicians in antiquity and medieval times, especially in Asia, have noticed this syndrome and categorized it as a symptom of melancholy. They have presented it as a "walking corpse syndrome", inflicting most probably veteran soldiers after suffering during ferocious battles, presenting the first cases of a post war traumatic stress disorder. Philotimus (3rd-2nd century BC) was the first to record it around 3rd century BC, and proposed a simple but pioneering treatment, by just putting a lead hat on the men's heads. Although various combined treatment strategies were proposed by modern psychiatry including pharmaceutical, electroconvulsive therapy, behavioural therapy and supportive psychotherapy, it seems that in antiquity a simple external intervention of supportive therapy was the main concept of confrontation, while drug administration was to be avoided.


Cotard's syndrome, walking corpse syndrome, Philotimus, Isḥaq Ibn-Imran, post war traumatic stress disorder, supportive psychotherapy.


National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece & Surgery Department, Konstantopouleio-Agia Olga General Hospital, Athens, History of Medicine, Anatomy Department, School of Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Department of Cardiology, , 417 NIMITS Army Share Fund Hospital Athens, History of Medicine, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Athens, History of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Athens

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