This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

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This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#1  Postby the_5th_ape » Oct 14, 2016 4:36 pm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national ... story.html

On Nov. 5, 2013, Esmé Weijun Wang came to the remarkable conclusion that she was dead.

In the weeks prior to this, she had begun to feel increasingly fractured — like being scatterbrained, but to such an extreme that she felt her sense of reality was fraying at the edges. She had started to lose her grip on who she was and on the world around her. Desperate to fend off what appeared to be early signs of psychosis, Wang went into a soul-searching and organizational frenzy. She read a self-help book that was supposed to help people discover their core beliefs and desires; she ordered and scribbled in five 2014 datebook planners, reorganized her work space and found herself questioning her role as a writer.

Then one morning, Wang woke her husband before sunrise with an incredible sense of wonder and tears of joy to tell him it all made sense to her now: She had actually died a month before, although at the time she had been told she merely fainted. (During a flight home to San Francisco from London, Wang had drifted into and out of consciousness for four hours. Afterward, doctors were unable to find a cause for this episode.)

“I was convinced that I had died on that flight, and I was in the afterlife and hadn’t realized it until that moment,” said Wang, now 32, who was convinced her husband and their dog Daphne were dead as well. “That was the beginning of when I was convinced that I was dead. But I wasn’t upset about it, because I thought that I could do things [in my life] over and do them better.”

Her husband assured her that she — and he — were very much alive, an assertion she dismissed. But as the days passed, her bliss turned into total despair. She lost all desire to work, talk or eat — because what’s the point when you’re already dead?
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#2  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Oct 14, 2016 4:40 pm

That thread title is so utterly click-bait-ish that I refuse to read your post, and I move that any thread with a title that's this click-bait-ish be moved to P&CA. Just put the fucking name of the fucking disease in the thread title.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#4  Postby igorfrankensteen » Oct 16, 2016 5:09 pm

Thread mislabeled indeed. Not a "disease." AIDS wasn't a disease either, by the way.

Whatever was affecting this woman physiologically, was NOT the cause of her thinking she was dead. Her particular collection of conceptualizations of the world, is what led to her conclusion. It's essentially the same thing as when someone suffers neurological damage that results in their losing all sense of empathy, and they therefore conclude that they are gods.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#5  Postby zoon » Oct 17, 2016 8:18 am

ScholasticSpastic wrote:That thread title is so utterly click-bait-ish that I refuse to read your post, and I move that any thread with a title that's this click-bait-ish be moved to P&CA. Just put the fucking name of the fucking disease in the thread title.

igorfrankensteen wrote:Thread mislabeled indeed. Not a "disease." AIDS wasn't a disease either, by the way.

Whatever was affecting this woman physiologically, was NOT the cause of her thinking she was dead. Her particular collection of conceptualizations of the world, is what led to her conclusion. It's essentially the same thing as when someone suffers neurological damage that results in their losing all sense of empathy, and they therefore conclude that they are gods.

I'm failing to follow these objections to the OP. The thread title is catchy (from the Washington Post) but accurate enough. The word used was "illness" which is even vaguer than "disease" (going by Merriam-Webster, illness is ": a condition of being unhealthy in your body or mind: a specific condition that prevents your body or mind from working normally : a sickness or disease"), and as far as I can tell the Cotard delusion is a recognised syndrome which is recognised as a disease by the WHO if not by the DSM.

Why isn't AIDS a disease? Wikipedia refers to it as both a disease and an illness here ("HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination.[19] The disease also has large economic impacts"), though admittedly the article starts by calling it a spectrum of conditions.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#6  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Oct 17, 2016 2:06 pm

zoon wrote:
I'm failing to follow these objections to the OP. The thread title is catchy (from the Washington Post) but accurate enough.

The thread title is click-bait. Name the fucking illness. Just come out and say what illness makes people think they're dead. People thinking they're dead is sufficiently catchy, by itself, that there's no reason to resort to the click-bait formula as the Washington Post has. Is it an illness which uses more than seventeen characters to print? If so, a very shitty argument might be made from the perspective of layout design. But it would still be a very shitty argument.

Do we even get to find out what the illness was in the material the_5th_ape quoted? No, we do not. Even the OP is click-bait.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#7  Postby Scot Dutchy » Oct 17, 2016 2:20 pm

Seems real enough.

Cotard delusion
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#8  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Oct 17, 2016 2:32 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Seems real enough.

Cotard delusion

If Cotard delusion is the illness in question, which I am unable to ascertain from the thread title or the OP, then this confirms for me that even a layout design argument cannot be used to justify the click-bait title. "Cotard delusion makes people think they're dead" has two fewer characters than "This rare illness makes people think they're dead."

As it stands, if nobody had followed the link, we would have a thread wherein nobody was able to tell what the thread was supposed to be about.

Wikipedia wrote:Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching thumbnail pictures to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the "curiosity gap", providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#9  Postby zoon » Oct 17, 2016 7:02 pm

ScholasticSpastic wrote:
zoon wrote:
I'm failing to follow these objections to the OP. The thread title is catchy (from the Washington Post) but accurate enough.

The thread title is click-bait. Name the fucking illness. Just come out and say what illness makes people think they're dead. People thinking they're dead is sufficiently catchy, by itself, that there's no reason to resort to the click-bait formula as the Washington Post has. Is it an illness which uses more than seventeen characters to print? If so, a very shitty argument might be made from the perspective of layout design. But it would still be a very shitty argument.

Do we even get to find out what the illness was in the material the_5th_ape quoted? No, we do not. Even the OP is click-bait.

I do agree with you that the OP would have been improved by adding the name of the illness, but at least there was an indication of what it was about, and there was a working link which did include the name. Admittedly, the criticism of the OP which I found more puzzling was igorfrankensteen's view that brain physiology is not the cause of sufferers from the Cotard delusion thinking they are dead, and that neither the Cotard delusion nor AIDS qualify as diseases.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#10  Postby LucidFlight » Oct 17, 2016 7:20 pm

This unbelievable internet trick caused one forum member to come up with a response that will shock you.
Click here to find out what they said.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#11  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Oct 17, 2016 7:24 pm

LucidFlight wrote:This unbelievable internet trick caused one forum member to come up with a response that will shock you.
Click here to find out what they said.

ScholasticSpastic clicked the link. You'll never guess WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!!!! :shock:
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#12  Postby Fallible » Oct 17, 2016 7:33 pm

This mother from Merseyside discovered one simple trick stop ScholasticSpastic tricking her into clicking links. The results may surprise you.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#13  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Oct 17, 2016 7:53 pm

5 things you did not know about ScholasticSpastic clicking links!
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#14  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Oct 17, 2016 8:06 pm

Click here to learn this weird trick for detecting clickbait that doctors don't want you to know!
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#15  Postby chairman bill » Oct 17, 2016 8:12 pm

That's a pretty pathetic illness. There's some out there that will really kill you.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#16  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Oct 17, 2016 8:36 pm

chairman bill wrote:That's a pretty pathetic illness. There's some out there that will really kill you.

I can think of at least ten illnesses that are stranger than Cotard delusion.
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#17  Postby igorfrankensteen » Oct 17, 2016 8:52 pm

zoon wrote:
ScholasticSpastic wrote:That thread title is so utterly click-bait-ish that I refuse to read your post, and I move that any thread with a title that's this click-bait-ish be moved to P&CA. Just put the fucking name of the fucking disease in the thread title.

igorfrankensteen wrote:Thread mislabeled indeed. Not a "disease." AIDS wasn't a disease either, by the way.

Whatever was affecting this woman physiologically, was NOT the cause of her thinking she was dead. Her particular collection of conceptualizations of the world, is what led to her conclusion. It's essentially the same thing as when someone suffers neurological damage that results in their losing all sense of empathy, and they therefore conclude that they are gods.

I'm failing to follow these objections to the OP. The thread title is catchy (from the Washington Post) but accurate enough. The word used was "illness" which is even vaguer than "disease" (going by Merriam-Webster, illness is ": a condition of being unhealthy in your body or mind: a specific condition that prevents your body or mind from working normally : a sickness or disease"), and as far as I can tell the Cotard delusion is a recognised syndrome which is recognised as a disease by the WHO if not by the DSM.

Why isn't AIDS a disease? Wikipedia refers to it as both a disease and an illness here ("HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination.[19] The disease also has large economic impacts"), though admittedly the article starts by calling it a spectrum of conditions.


HIV is the disease. AIDS was the SYNDROME (that's what the S stands for). SYNDROME in this case, means a collection of symptoms which the person giving it a label, believes has a single cause, but it is a cause which they have not yet identified.

Cotard Delusion is ALSO a SYNDROME. Again, that means that mr Cotard gathered together a list of symptoms, suspected that there was an underlying physical or psychological cause for it, but could not himself identify that cause.

The sloppy habit of referring to something as an illness, is the source of a lot of misunderstandings, including this whole thread, and the article it is based around. The term "illness" as used in most discussions is every bit as bad, if not worse, than the horrible mess that is intrinsic to the use of the term "theory" in common speech.

The problem with the click-bait headline, is that it's use of the word illness implies that the cause of the syndrome is known, and will be identified in the article. Then all the article proves to be about, is a reiteration of the now ancient Cotard observations.

Cotard syndrome does not, as the thread title says, "MAKE PEOPLE THINK THEY’RE DEAD," the Cotard Syndrome is the description of the fact that some people think they are dead.

They may as well have posted an article titled "War is Caused By this behavior," and then in the article itself, said "War is people fighting each other in an official or coordinated way."
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Re: This rare illness makes people think they’re dead

#18  Postby zoon » Oct 17, 2016 11:39 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote: HIV is the disease. AIDS was the SYNDROME (that's what the S stands for). SYNDROME in this case, means a collection of symptoms which the person giving it a label, believes has a single cause, but it is a cause which they have not yet identified.

Since we're being pedantic here, HIV isn't the disease either, it's the causative organism, the human immunodeficiency virus. The disease is HIV infection, although it's an unwieldy name, and HIV, AIDS, and HIV/AIDS are all used loosely at times. Thanks for your explanation :cheers:
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