On Friday I had a patient with a history of schizophrenia and Capgras Delusion, which I found fascinating and sad at the same time. For those of you who may not know what Capgras Delusion is (I didn’t), it is the belief that someone close to you has been replaced by an identical impostor. For the patient with Capgras Delusion, the impostor looks and acts exactly the same, but only the patient knows that they are actually a stranger instead of their loved one. Apparently, this belief in the identical impostor can apply to pets or household items as well. And it affects not only people with schizophrenia, but also people who have had a traumatic brain injury. I can only imagine that it must be really, really freaky to wake up one day and think that the person who looks and acts like your spouse is actually a stranger.
Capgras delusion February 17, 2008