Anosognosia is an intriguing neuropsychological syndrome in which a patient with one or more paralysed limbs denies they have anything wrong with them. In a new investigation, Aikaterini Fotopoulou and her colleagues have shown that some patients fitting this description have a residual, subconscious awareness of their disability. One reason anosognosia is so intriguing is that it has both neurobiological and psychological components. Some experts have interpreted it as a form of Freudian defence against the emotional trauma of paralysis. Consistent with this, when insight into their paralysis has been achieved, previously anosognosic patients have subsequently suffered from an increase in depressive symptoms.