Man Diagnosed with Zombie Disease

July 25, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. syndrome 
[SIN-drohm, -druh m] (n.) – a disorder with a certain pattern of symptoms
Example: The doctor listed the signs characterizing the Zombie syndrome.

2. electrocute [ih-LEK-truh-kyoot] (v.) – to end one’s life by using electricity
Example: The man died after getting electrocuted by lightning.

3. suicide [SOO-uh-sahyd] (v.) – to take one’s own life intentionally
Example: Because of severe depression, the young man committed suicide by hanging himself.

4. coma [KOH-muh] (n.) – a condition of being unconscious for a long time
Example: After seven months in coma, the patient finally woke up.

5. zombie [ZOM-bee] (n.) – a dead body showing characteristics of being alive (e.g. movement)
Example: Patients who are awake but are not able to think and talk well can be described as zombie-like.


Read the text below.

A man has been diagnosed with Walking Corpse Syndrome after insisting that his brain died when he tried to electrocute himself.

This illness, also known as Cotard’s Syndrome, is a mental disorder characterized by the patient’s firm belief that he or she has lost some organs, body parts, or even soul. People with this syndrome tend to stop doing normal things, such as eating and speaking.

The man, identified only as Graham, admitted being in a bizarre state of consciousness after surviving his suicide attempt. He said that after the incident, he often felt very low and as if he needed nothing in order to survive.

Concerned with Graham’s situation, doctors from University of Liege in Belgium took the opportunity to examine his brain. Dr. Steven Laureys, who is in charge of Graham’s case, reported that Graham’s brain looked like the brain of a person under anesthesia or during sleep. Thus, Graham can be considered to be in a coma. The doctor was amazed that despite having an almost inactive brain, Graham was completely awake and could even move and interact with other people.

Experts say that being in a zombie-like state is very unusual and almost impossible. The last reported case of Cotard’s syndrome was back in 1882. Today, Graham’s case gives an opportunity for experts to study and know more about the syndrome.

With regular medications and therapy, Graham’s condition has already improved. He admitted that he no longer feels brain-dead and that he is fortunate to have lived even after attempting suicide.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How did you react about Graham’s condition?
·         How does Graham’s rare illness affect what we know about the human body?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people commit suicide?
·         What can you possibly do to help someone who is prone to suicide? Please explain briefly.


July 25, 2013