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Capgras syndrome: what it is, how to recognize it and what are the treatments

Capgras syndrome

Capgras syndrome leads sufferers to think that the people around them are really just lookalikes. Let's find out how it manifests itself and what is important to know.

Suffering from Capgras syndrome means living in the constant belief that others, especially friends and relatives, have been replaced by doppelgangers or, in some cases, even aliens.
This disorder, which is one of the psychiatric ones, has causes that are not yet fully known today. In many cases, however, it seems that this syndrome is accompanied by brain problems and brain lesions. Let's find out, therefore, everything there is to know about this disease and the remedies to counter it.

What is Capgras syndrome and what are the theories about its origins

As already mentioned, Capgras syndrome, also known as Capgras delirium, is a psychiatric illness that leads to the idea that relatives, friends and in some cases even places and animals are replaced by imposters such as look-alikes or aliens.

Capgras syndrome
Capgras syndrome

This belief is almost always constant and delusional and leads those who experience it to feel alien to everyone. Furthermore, even in the face of concrete evidence that people have not been replaced, the person will continue to think so, thus exacerbating his delusion .
Going to the various hypotheses associated with this syndrome, most of the studies agree in linking it to dementia problems, head trauma, cerebrovascular disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as, for example, Alzheimer's disease .
Damage to the brain over time has also been associated with this disorder.

Other hypotheses concern the possibility that those who suffer from it have difficulty actually perceiving people's faces, which is why they always end up feeling something strange that leads them to believe they are doubles. Another idea is that the triggering problem is related to the lack of emotion associated with face recognition. Which would lead to feeling a sense of extraneousness and, consequently, the feeling that others are doubles and, indeed, strangers.

How to recognize Capgras syndrome

Recognizing this syndrome is particularly easy because those who suffer from it have a delusional and constant attitude that leads to not recognizing loved ones as real.
The subject suffering from this syndrome is in fact convinced that instead of parents, parnter, friends and sometimes even instead of pets there are other people.

If questioned about it, the explanation about his beliefs is usually attributed to small differences (which in reality are not there) such as a different way of speaking, a different expression of feelings, etc… The problem, of course, does not even fall under the to concrete proof that what is perceived to be different, in reality is not.

This delusional form makes it really easy to recognize Capgras syndrome , but it also has other symptoms. These are:

– Meloncholy
– Aggression
– Sense of loneliness
Depressive episodes
– Maniacs of persecution
– Paranoid behavior

The good news is that once detected, this syndrome is treatable. However, it is very important to act immediately and contact an expert in the field.

How to cure Capgras syndrome

This disease is usually treatable by the psychiatrist or neurologist who, after making the diagnosis, can act by performing further tests such as magnetic resonance imaging and neurological tests to which to associate therapy sessions aimed at understanding the seriousness of the situation.

In general, the most common treatment consists in the administration of antidepressants and antipsychotics to be associated with therapy sessions. Family members can also often be involved in order to re-establish some sort of contact between them and the patient.
Recovery can be partial or complete and depends on many factors such as the extent of the disorder, any injuries, etc…
However, it is proven that for a safe result, the association between drugs and psychotherapy is almost always needed.

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