An earlier death

Journalism site The Toast has what I believe is the only first-person account of Cotard’s delusion – the belief that you’re dead – which can occur in psychosis.

The article is by writer Esmé Weijun Wang who describes her own episode of psychosis and how she came to believe, and later unbelieve, that she was dead.

It’s an incredibly evocative piece and historically, worth remembering.

Somatic details figure heavily in these recollections: what I wore, what I looked like. I told myself, through mirrors and dressing-up and Polaroids and weighing myself, You have a body. The body is alive.

But the more that I tried to remind myself of the various ways in which I did, in fact, seem to have a body that was moving, with a heart that pumped blood, the more agitated I became. Being dead butted up against the so-called evidence of being alive, and so I grew to avoid that evidence because proof was not a comfort; instead, it pointed to my insanity.

 

Link to ‘Perdition Days: On Experiencing Psychosis’

4 thoughts on “An earlier death”

  1. You’ve already linked this article in one of your spike activities (11-07-2014; so much about “worth remembering”). It’s great, though, so I guess it’s worth repeating.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s