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Hello! My friend has just told me that her husband suffers from capgras delusion. I knew that her husband had certain mental problems some time ago but my friend didn’t want to talk about it since she was embarrassed. She really suffers a lot but she wants to stay beside him and help him. Is capgras delusion treatable?

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Hello! Capgrass delusion is treatable and the therapy should always be best suited to individual symptoms. Persistence is something which very important in treatment of Capgras delusion especially in establishing a therapeutic empathy without validating the person’s delusional system. There are many cognitive techniques that include reality testing and reframing which are often used together with antipsychotic drugs which are commonly used to treat psychotic or mood disorders. Persistent gentle discussion about evidence for the belief sometimes helps overcome the problem.
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Capgras syndrome/delusion is often resistant to reasoning, partly because those who suffer from Capgras generally have comorbid conditions which may affect their reasoning abilities, so reasoning with him will likely not be productive. Although individual and family therapy should be pursued, pharmaceutical treatment will likely be necessary. Typically antipsychotics, antidepressants, and neuroleptics are prescribed. Without knowing the underlying causes for his Capgras symptoms, it is unlikely, based on the research I have seen on Capgras, that the symptoms will be cured. The symptoms can certainly be alleviated with treatment, but not cured. (This is not applicable to transient forms of CS, such as with severe depression) As annalise mentioned, the exact treatment is very individual as the causes for Capgras is widespread and the resulting treatments are likewise varying. What is most important is fostering an environment of love and support so that even if the delusions are not alleviated, perhaps your friend's husband can live with them without too much aggitation in the interm. For ideas on this take a look at the case study of DS by Ramachandran. He describes some of the techniques the parents of a particular patient 'DS' did to make living a little smoother. One technique that worked well was calling before they would enter the house to let their son know they were coming. This is because those with Capgras typically are able to identify familiar people better by hearing them speak.

Best of luck
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my sister is a bipolar manic depressive who has recently been listening to voices and has become convinced that most family members have been replaced by duplicates.i had her commited to get her back on her medication but the hospital released her without her going back on her medication.she is a highly intelligent woman who previously worked in the mental health industry .she speaks the language and knows what is expected to get released.on returning home she went back to this delusion except i apparently was replaced by one of "the evil dead eyed replicants"[her words]i desperatly need information understandable to an average person.my email is
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We are doing a documentary on Capgras syndrome for a major cable network. We can offer free help from expert doctors if chosen for the show. Please email me for more information:
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Here is the email for the documentary:

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If anyone has any information about this disorder/symptom, I would very much like some. I found this website through a frantic search to figure out what is going on with my son. He is 5 years old. He recently was diagnosed with a seizure disorder (focal...they were not very specific and we do not have a pediatric neurologist in the state we live in so we had to travel a long distance and we have not been able to get back to see them again. He has NO grand mal and we have never seen anything more than some lip smacking and staring.) He is on Lamictal and Seroquel. The Seroquel was because of violent behavior that started 2 years ago. Shortly after the violence started a bunch of other things started like learning problems, speech problems, etc. They did an MRI to check for brain tumors, but found none. We have been waiting and waiting to see another doctor. Since his last increase of Lamictal (the seizure med) by his primary doctor, he has gotten way more violent to a point where I've had to put up all toys and have him ask to get one down. I have been punched, bitten, he has tried to stab me with various objects. He started saying that this is not his house on and off. Or he will say it is not "our house." Then he started saying we are not his real parents and he is going to look for his real parents. He will dive into the floor and start screaming. He told me my eyes were all black and that because of that I wasn't his mom anymore. One day I wore an orange shirt and he refused to be around me until I changed. He would stay with my husband and talk from upstairs, but if he came downstairs he started sobbing and screaming and then tried to kick me and would say that I couldn't be his mom because of my shirt. This happens virtually every single day. I can't change my hair (part it a different way, comb it, put on makeup, etc.) or ANYTHING. If I even stand in a different spot in the room, that one little detail could make me "not his mom" and he could just randomly flip out and start trying to hurt me. And he is very serious. He has told me he is going to kill me. The other thing that has happened is he says there are "other Olivers." In other words, he believes there are actual imposters of himself running around. He says "the other Olivers are laughing at me." Or "the other Olivers are trying to get me." He will bury his head in the carpet and hyperventilate. We have had incidents where he would not come inside the house for several hours and insisted on being on the porch because the "other Olivers" were supposedly inside the house.
I understand that 5 year olds can have an imagination, but this is not 5 year old imagination. He is very scared all the time. When I'm his "real mom" he is okay and will tell me he loves me, etc. If he suddenly gets that idea that I am not though he will try to run away, try to hurt someone.
I don't know what to do. He also says sometimes that he feels like he is not real. He told me yesterday that he feels like he is in a dream (this lasted about 5-10 minutes). He just kept saying.."mom i don't feel like I'm real. I feel like I'm only a dream me. I'm just a dream. I feel like this is just a dream." He was crying and very scared. Sometimes he tells us the room is getting "shiny."
He has told me there are things he sees over and over "in his brain." I don't know if that means he is hallucinating or if he has intrusive thougths or if he is just having normal little boy fears. He easily becomes obsessed with things.
Of course, this is not the "whole" picture. He has a lot of other problems, but these are the main problems he has that I think relate to what might possibly be classified as Capgras delusion or syndrome or whatever. I don't even know if it is possible for a child to have this though or if this is what you would call what he is doing. I just know that he is afraid a lot of the time and he is struggling and we were hoping to mainstream him next year at school and he just keeps getting worse and worse instead of better. The neurologist we saw seemed to think we'd put him on a little anti-seizure med and he'd just perk right up and be totally okay with no issues. That has NOT been the case whatsoever. If anything, things got better for like a very deceiving month or two and then dropped off and have steadily been getting worse and worse. The only thing that has gotten like 60% better is he is now more potty trained than before.

I have severe Bipolar Disorder and have been diagnosed since the age of 17. I am 30 now. I've had multiple hospital stays.
The doctors do not believe he has Bipolar Disorder. I have been asked multiple times if anyone in my family is schizophrenic -- no one is.
He was born blue and had to be resussitated at birth.

My questions are: Can Capgras be a symptom of a seizure disorder, like TLE?
Is it possible for a child to have Capgras delusion? a 5 year old???!!!
Could the medications Seroquel or Lamictal CAUSE capgras delusion in a young child?
What can be done?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated as we are struggling and totally on our own with very little help from doctors here.

Thank you.
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Please get him to a child psychiatrist asap. They will be able to better diagnose him and prescribe more effective meds.
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I am a psychiatrist and a neurologist. Seroquel can lower the seizure threshold making seizures MORE likely
I would NOT recommend it for anyone with seizures
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Vinita, Did you ever get a response about the possible treatment for Capgras Syndrome, since my wife suffers from capgras syndrome and she does not recognized our three children or myself. The only treatment that I have found is Psychological Therapy but since my wife does not recognize that she has a problem she refuses to go to any therapy.
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Hello JaneSmith,

Could you please send me the email for the documentary, my wife suffers from capgras syndrome and she does to recognize our three children and myself. She also denies having any mental problems and effuses to have any type of treatment either via a medicine or therapy.

Thanks!
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Hello,
I'm not sure if this will help corroborate that it is capgras Syndrome since my wife had a brain tumor removed and then 18 months later she had her first seizure where she will lost total conciouness, the neurologist prescribed Lacmital and the seizures stop. But 2 years later my wife developed the capgras syndrome symptoms where she does not recognized our three kids and myself.
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My question really is: How can you get someone to take any kind of treatment (Therapy or Medicine), when that person does not believe that she suffers from any type of mental problem. My wife is a dentist and she still able to to practice her profession but at home she does not recognized our three kids or myself (her husband) and every time that I even mentioned that she needs to get some help she becomes very upset and tells me to stop abusing her. What is the approach that we need to follow in order to demonstrate to her that she needs some help...

Thanks  
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Did you do this documentary? i would love to see it. Where can I find it?
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I'm very glad that a documentary will be done about this terrible syndrome but I would like to ask you is this documentary going to be about, just the symptoms and the characteristics of the syndrome, possible treatments, level of stress that creates in the families where there is capgras syndrome patient, how although in court the evidence is overwhelming that this person suffers from a mental/emotional problem based on some of the statements made in court (i.e. this person that is divorcing me is not my husband) court does not authorized a motion to seek treatment. How the family adults deal with the symptoms specially when there are young kids involved, where you can not explain to them your mother does not believe that you are her son... the reason I asked these questions is because these are all the aspects that should be part of it, not just this is what capgras syndrome is and this is the % of people affected in the US or around the world.. It is obvious that my wife will not participate in the show since she does not believe that she has a problem so are you interviewing family members of different capgras syndrome patients..?
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