(First, some quick info)
The Capgras delusion (or Capgras syndrome) (pronounced: kah-grah ) is a disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor.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.
I wanted to give you the definition of the syndrome before telling you this quick story:
Thomas and I watched a show about schizophrenia ("Perception"--which I told you about in an earlier posting) a couple days ago and one of the characters had this particular syndrome. In her case, it was because of a brain bleed. At the culmination of the show the character murdered her husband thinking he was actually an alien.
The reason I tell you this is in part because I wanted to give you some information on a facet of schizophrenia, a particularly scary and very real symptom, but I also wanted to share that after witnessing the entire show and getting an understanding that this was a possibility for him with his illness, Thomas turned to me and emphatically told me, "I'm never going off of my medication because I don't want that to happen to me." He was appropriately horrified and identified that, for him, to keep from exhibiting that specific symptom and others depicted in the show, that he needed to stay on his medication.
This made me feel so much better because a part of me is always waiting for the kid who when he was first put on medication and a couple times since then, has angrily told me he didn't want to be medicated anymore. He is 18 and it will always be his choice what to do with meds but I have to say that I am thankful that he is able to see, in action on this show, the manifestation of schizophrenia and in turn make personal decisions about his health.
There's always a part of me that will wake up each day and wonder which course the illness will take today, even in it's healthiest, medicated, positive mood form. His refusal of meds in the past looms in the near reaches of my mind and I pray each day that he will feel good on them and continue to take them and remain on this beautiful course that his life is following right now.