Reduplicative Paramnesia

It seems appropriate the reduplicative would be repeated in the following day’s word, but it also shows how my train of thought takes me from one word to another.

Reduplicative Paramnesia is a medical disorder in which a person believes that they have been moved from a room or location to an exact copy in another location.  Scientists believe it is caused by brain injuries, so it is not surprising that it most often occurs regarding hospital rooms.

The term was coined by a neurologist Harold Pick in 1903 who had an Alzheimer’s who claimed she had been moved from her hospital room in the city to an exact replica, also manned by the same staff, in the suburbs.  The first known case seems to have been traced back to 1788, to a woman who also had Cotard’s Delusion (I’ll save that one for a future day).

Injured soldiers are other common victims, often insisting that they have been moved to an identical hospital room in their hometown.

One source also included in the definition the delusion that the same event has happened to twice.  It mentioned a case of a woman who suffered a brain injury during a mugging, and believed that the same person had stolen her purse twice in identical situations.  The source separates this from Temporal Reduplication, which is the belief that an event that happened to you happened once before.  In Reduplicative Paramnesia is the belief that the event happened again after the actual incident.

What is supposedly so striking about all of these cases is that the victim is perfectly lucid in every other matter.

The word paramnesia refers to any distortion of memory in which the sufferer confuses reality from fantasy.

As you can imagine, this definition led me down into a rabbit hole of fascinating medical conditions.  Future cases will certainly be populating this blog in the next couple of weeks.

Source: Most came from a very well cited article on Wikipedia.


One Response to Reduplicative Paramnesia

  1. Michael Sclafani says:

    A classic humorous example from Ghostbusters 2. Go to 2:15 into the clip.

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