Inspired by The Capgras Delusion to write a short story or chapter about a character who suffers from this psychiatric disorder; however, uses it as a power in some way. The emotional hook is that it is caused by a brain lesion which gives him major headaches. The power goes stronger in exchange for his life force.
“The Capgras delusion (or Capgras syndrome) (pron: kăh′grah IPA:/ka·’grɑ:/) is a disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor. The Capgras delusion is classified as a delusional misidentification syndrome, a class of delusional beliefs that involves the misidentification of people, places, or objects (usually not in conjunction). It can occur in acute, transient, or chronic forms. Cases in which patients hold the belief that time has been “warped” or “substituted” have also been reported.
The delusion most commonly occurs in patients diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but has also been seen in patients suffering from brain injury and dementia. It presents often in individuals with a neurodegenerative disease, particularly at an older age. It has also been reported as occurring in association with diabetes, hypothyroidism and migraine attacks. In one isolated case, the Capgras delusion was temporarily induced in a healthy subject by the drug ketamine. It occurs more frequently in females, with a female:male ratio of 3:2.
The information gathered from studying people with the Capgras delusion has important theoretical implications for understanding face perception and neuroanatomy in both healthy and unhealthy individuals. It also poses some interesting epistemological questions about the nature of identity and belief.
The Capgras delusion is named after Joseph Capgras (1873–1950), a French psychiatrist who first described the disorder in 1923 in his paper co-authored by Reboul-Lachaux, on the case of a French woman, “Mme M.,” who complained that corresponding “doubles” had taken the places of her husband and other people she knew. Capgras and Reboul-Lachaux first called the syndrome “l’illusion des sosies”, which can be translated literally as “the illusion of ‘doubles’…”
The Capgras syndrome was initially considered a purely psychiatric disorder, the delusion of a double seen as symptomatic of schizophrenia, and purely a female disorder (though we now know this not to be the case) often noted as a symptom of hysteria. Most of the proposed explanations initially following that of Capgras and Reboul-Lachaux were psychoanalytical in nature. It was not until the 1980s that attention was turned to the usually co-existing organic brain lesions originally thought to be essentially unrelated or accidental. Today the Capgras syndrome is understood as a neurological disorder, in which the delusion primarily results from organic brain lesions or degeneration.”