Psychology : Capgras Delusion

Masked man depicting Capgras Delusions

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

Capgras Illustration

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

Capgras Illustration

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?
Article Name
Psychology : Capgras Delusion
Capgras is a disorder where people believe that a family member, friend, acquaintance or even a pet is replaced by an imposter. What happens really?
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