Psychology : Capgras Delusion

Yahallo fellow readers 🙂 Today, we see a wide plethora of psychological disorders in the medical field. Some of these are really interesting because of their complex nature. One such disorder called ‘Capgras Delusion’ really caught my attention. So I’ll be writing about it today.

Have you ever imagined seeing someone who looks like your family member but you don’t feel any familiarity towards them? Of course, you would constantly feel unusual and wary of them. That is exactly how people with Capgras feel. It is a disorder where people holds a delusion that an imposter replaces a close member. As a result, they don’t trust that person, despite knowing them for a long time. This is more common in females.

Capgras : Origin

Masked man depicting of Capgras Delusions

It is named after Joseph Capgras, a French psychiatrist. He described the disorder in 1923 in his paper, on the case of a French woman, “Madame M”, who complained that “doubles” had taken the places of her husband and other people she knew. They first called it the “l’illusion des sosies”, which means “the illusion of look-alikes.” Psychiatrists say it probably arises from organic brain lesions.

Previously, people thought it to be a psychiatric disorder, but now they have determined it to be a neurological disorder.

Some Examples

Illustration by Rachel Laughman


  1. Mrs. D, a 74-year-old married housewife. A local hospital recently discharged her after her first psychiatric admission. They presented her to Passer’s facility for a second opinion. At that time, earlier in the year, she had received the diagnosis of a typical psychosis. She believed that another unrelated man replaced her husband. Mrs. D refused to sleep with him and locked her door at night. She asked her son for a gun, she fought with the police when they attempted to hospitalize her. Sometimes, she believed her husband was her deceased father. She easily recognised other family members but not her husband. Source Here

  2. Psychiatrists referred Fred for neurological and neuropsychological evaluation. This was because of his cognitive and behavioural disturbances. He had worked as the head of a small unit devoted to energy research. His past medical and psychiatric history had no peculiarities. Fred’s wife said that 15 months from then, he began to see her as a “double”. The first episode took place after coming home when Fred asked her where she was. When she answered she was right there, he said that she was probably outside. She will return back later. Source Here

Diagnosis & Treatment

Arthur Rackham’s William Wilson – Getty Images

This disorder is rare. Thus, experts don’t have much knowledge about this topic, as a result, there is no specific diagnosis. However, experts use individual therapy, cognitive techniques or therapeutic drugs to relatively treat this.

And thus, the medical field delves further into the mystery of Capgras Delusions. I am sure we will find a proper cure one day. If not soon.


  1. What is your opinion about Capgras?
  2. If you ever had this disorder, who would you forget? Who would be an imposter?
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12 Replies to “Psychology : Capgras Delusion”

  1. I wouldn’t forget anyone because the chances of it happening are close to zero and it would probably be necessary to have other mental problems or extreme anxiety to get this disorder

  2. What is your opinion about Capgras?

    – well, It’s like a good reference for a story. hope It doesnt happen to any of my friends or family

    If you ever had this disorder, who would you forget? Who would be an imposter?

    – If I have this disorder, I should forget that I read this article

  3. This disorder sounds like a good thriller/horror movie script. The second question is kind of useless. I think it would be out of my control who I would forget and consider to be in impostor.

  4. What is your opinion about Capgras?
    Represents the ideas that lives in the dark even it’s a good one. Just need to hide it for some times.

    If you ever had this disorder, who would you forget? Who would be an imposter?
    Nothing. Past is always good because it can’t get back in our present time.

  5. This disorder is the origin of a lot of myths. On the “Myths and Legends” podcast they mention several such tales where children who were believed to be replaced by elves were supposed to be scalded, abandoned or other harmful things to drive the elf out of the house and have them return the child. It’s a scary thing when it involves children because a child whose single parent would no longer recognize them could easily be endangered.

  6. 1.What is your opinion about Capgras?

    Capgras is a devastating disorder indeed just as you stated,but what got my attention was the fact that it is more common on females and the examples had the almost same scenario.
    I believe the cause to this disorder can be created in a deep long year relationship,that way bonds can be estabelished BUT that way the bond can waver and that alone can make this disorder come to existence,which will cause the female individual to doubt,no,not doubt but to hold a delusion instead of the husband’s true identity.
    If I ever have a scenario like this,it would be pretty devastating.

    2.If you ever had this disorder, who would you forget? Who would be an imposter?

    Who? Thats a difficult question indeed,so I rather use examples.
    In example,if in my life I had someone who made my prespective narrow,point of view blind or simply just ruined my life deep down and I was hiding from it while taking years of torment agonizing that life,then I wouldnt mind having this disorder upon me.
    Its like disorders turns us into infants yet again,isnt it?

    In the wife place as you stated,it is quite easy for them to fall into this disorder,considering the situation,but I wonder just how hard it is to get out of it.

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