What Is Catatonic Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is among the most challenging of mental illnesses that affects men and women across the world, across most age-groups. Categorizing and defining different types of Catatonic Schizophrenia is difficult since the symptoms are quite similar. However, some basic types of Schizophrenia have been established for better diagnosis and treatment. One such form of schizophrenia is Catatonic Schizophrenia.

Catatonic Schizophrenia is marked by extreme behavior. This is regarded as its characteristic feature that ranges from the patient being unable to respond or even speak. Here, the patient suffers from a sudden and significant reduction in his ability to respond to the most basic of stimuli. These symptoms of Catatonic Schizophrenia are quite similar to that of stupor. The posture might become extreme lethargic with lack of basic body movements. This extreme form of Catatonic Schizophrenia is also referred to as Catatonia or catalepsy.

The other extreme set of symptoms associated with Catatonic Schizophrenia border on excessive body movement or hyperactive behavior due to unregulated motor activity. The person might present fits of exaggerated bodily movements without any stimulus or reason along with making mimicking sounds. The tendency to make bizarre, uncontrolled bodily movements is referred to as catatonic excitement or catatonic agitation and mimicking sounds is called Echolalia.

Symptoms of patients suffering from catatonic agitation are usually referred to as purposeless body actions, repeated with an alarming regularity. This refers to an extreme form of schizophrenia where the uncontrolled body movements pose a severe threat of harming oneself or others.

Patients of Catatonic Schizophrenia are known to seem frozen in bizarre body posture or at times might repeat a certain set of bodily actions without any creative or intellectual reason. Their unusual limb movements or the lack of it includes facial expressions of the extreme kind too. Their facial muscles might seem pulled or stretched to one end, making the face look contorted. This might lead to slurred or disorganized speech also.

The presence of delusionary thoughts and hallucinations is suspected among Catatonic Schizophrenia patients but it cannot be confirmed, at least during the early part of the diagnostic procedure. Patients of Catatonic Schizophrenia can be very difficult to manage at home. For instance, sometimes they might be immobile for hours with their limbs twisted in a seemingly painful manner, giving the impression of having suffered a fit or paralytic attack. Further, any attempt to help them reposition their body in a better manner might be confronted with violent resistance.

Catatonic Schizophrenia is counted among the rarer types of schizophrenia. Managed cared of Catatonic Schizophrenia patients has also improved with the ability of medicines that can control their range of motion during catatonic hyperactivity. The more challenging cases of Catatonic Schizophrenia combine the two extremes explained above, i.e. when stupor-like posture and excessive excitability alternate in the same individual.