Catatonia

By Johnna Medina, M.A.

Catatonia is not a disorder in and of itself, but a possible symptom of several known disorders, especially those classified on the psychotic spectrum (occurs up to 35% in those with schizophrenia). Catatonia can also be an adverse consequence of a substance/medication.Catatonic_Schizophrenia_large

The clinical presentation of a catatonic state is expressed by three (or more) of the following symptoms:

  • Being in a stupor (i.e., not person is not moving their body or actively relating to environment and stays in a fixed position; muscles and posture appear rigid)
  • Catalepsy or posturing (i.e., the person either passively induces or actively maintains an unnatural posture contrary to the direction of gravity).
  • Waxy flexibility (i.e., slight, but even resistance to positioning by examiner).
  • Mutism (i.e., no, or very little, verbal response event though there is no neurological deficit that would inhibit speech, such as a traumatic brain injury or catastroke).
  • Negativism (i.e., opposition or no response to instructions or external stimuli).
  • Mannerism (i.e., odd caricature of normal actions).
  • Stereotypy (i.e., repetitive, abnormally frequent, non-goal-directed movements)
  • Agitation, not influenced by external stimuli.
  • Grimacing (making an exaggerated facial expression of disgust).
  • Echolalia (i.e., mimicking another’s speech)
  • Echopraxia (i.e., mimicking another’s movements).
  • Echolalia (i.e., mimicking another’s speech)depressed-kid_f_600x250

 

 

APA Reference
Medina, J. (2014). Catatonia. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/catatonia/

Symptom criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
        or
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 May 2014
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

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