A 21-year-old right-handed cisgender female, two months prior to presentation, noted stiffness and difficulty with ambulation. One-month prior to admission, she experienced recurrent depression with myriad vegetative and nonvegetative symptoms of depression. On admission her chief complaint was I am a tree, standing motionless and minimally responding to query. After treatment with quetiapine, mirtazapine and hydroxyzine for a one-week period, her perception of being a tree fully resolved.
Abnormalities in Mental Status Examination: Anxious mood repeatedly stating, I am a tree. Standing still for long periods of time, refusing blood pressure to be obtained and expressing fear of constricting flow. Neuropsychiatric Testing: Beck Depression Inventory Type II: 33 (severe depression)
The rapid response to risperidone is consistent with Cotard’s syndrome, which has been noted to respond rapidly to neuroleptics (Sharma, 2014). However, in Cotard’s syndrome, replacement by a living non-animal object has not hitherto been reported. Body infestation with animate objects, as in Ekbom syndrome, only includes animals not botanicals (Chaudhary, 2019). This could be viewed as Reverse Inanimate Capgras Syndrome: instead of an imposter replacing a close friend, who then is inserted into the sufferer; a tree has replaced the sufferer. Peradventure, this may fit into the construct of Intermetamorphosis, a misidentification syndrome associated with the belief that individuals have transformed into other persons (Jariwala, 2017). Botanical Intermetamorphosis, the belief by the sufferer that the other individual is transformed from a person into a plant has not been described. Reverse Intermetamorphosis is the projection of an external individual into the person suffering or a syndrome of altered physical and psychological identities of the self (Silva, 1990). However, in this situation, the objects are all human or animate animals not botanicals. In Fregoli syndrome, there is an altered physical identity of others. In Reverse Fregoli syndrome, the sufferer assumes the physical but not the psychological identity of the stranger (Silva, 1990). But in this instance, the stranger is human as opposed to a plant life form. In the current case there is only altered physical identity (into a tree) not psychological identity. The current case may also be interpreted as a Botanical Variant of Interparietal Syndrome. In this condition, parts of the body are perceived to be lifeless, due to lesions of the inferior parietal lobe including supramarginalis gyrus, angular gyrus and the basalis parietalis area (Angyal, 1935). Investigation for those whom have Intermetamorphosis, Fregoli syndrome, Capgras syndrome, Interparietal syndrome, and Cotard’s syndrome for the presence of delusions involving plant life is warranted.