Catatonic Schizophrenia: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

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Catatonic schizophrenia is a form of schizophrenia, a mental health illness indicated by symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech, trouble thinking, and a lack of desire.

catatonic schizophrenia

What is catatonic schizophrenia?

Catatonia, also known as catatonic schizophrenia, refers to a set of symptoms that may develop, though these symptoms occur only in some patients with schizophrenia. Catatonic schizophrenia is characterized by a shift from hyperactivity to inactivity or a lack of responsiveness. In several situations, the patient may stay nearly immobile, frequently assuming statuesque poses for hours or even days.


These are some causes that lead to catatonic schizophrenia:

  • Brain dysfunctions: These are atypical brain activities, such as changes in neurotransmitter systems including dopamine, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
  • Psychiatric conditions: Catatonia is a serious mental illness that has historically been linked with schizophrenia. However, it can be present in a number of psychiatric disorders, including schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.
  • Medical disorders: Catatonia can be caused by illnesses such as dystonia, encephalopathy, HIV, and renal failure that can induce catatonic behaviors.


Although catatonic schizophrenia has an uncommon group of symptoms that was previously thought to exclusively occur in patients, it has since been discovered in people with various forms of mental diseases, including neurodevelopmental, psychotic bipolar, and depressive disorders.

Catatonic schizophrenia results in symptoms of both catatonia and schizophrenia. A person with schizophrenia may exhibit unusual movement patterns, such as being frozen in place, mimicking other people’s movements, or not communicating, in addition to hallucinations and delusions. People suffering from catatonic schizophrenia may display odd bodily motions ranging from utter immobility to inexplicable excitability and hyperactivity. This mood can last for a few minutes, hours, or even days. These are some symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia:


They are false beliefs that patients with catatonic schizophrenia are passionately believed. Not everyone will experience the same kinds of illusions. There are several kinds of delusions as follow: delusions of control, delusions of grandeur, delusions of persecution, and delusions of reference.


Hallucinations are feelings of objects that appear to be real yet do not exist. The most prevalent hallucination in schizophrenia with paranoia is hearing voices. The voices may even be those of individuals you know. When you are isolated from people, your symptoms may worsen.

Disorganized speech and conduct

You may have disordered speech if you have schizophrenia. Moreover, you may repeat words or phrases, or you may begin speaking in the middle of a sentence or even invent your own terms. This symptom is caused by the concentration problems that are frequent in schizophrenia. This disorder’s disorganized speech is not the same as a speech disability.

Disorganized conduct is defined as an overall inability to manage your behavior in different circumstances, such as at home and at work. You probably have difficulty with carrying out everyday tasks, regulating your emotions, and keeping your emotions in check containing unusual or improper behavior. This symptom can have a large impact on your job, social, and personal life.

Suicidal intention

Another prevalent indication of schizophrenia is suicidal thoughts and acts. They occur more frequently in situations that are left untreated. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or self-harm, contact your local emergency services immediately. They can put you in touch with a mental health specialist who can help you deal with this problem.

catatonic schizophrenia


Diagnosis of schizophrenia with catatonia might be difficult since its symptoms can mimic those of other diseases. It’s critical to rule out antipsychotic medication side effects when diagnosing schizophrenia with catatonia. Some of these drugs might produce stiffness and unusual postures, as well as the inability to move. So, if a person is on antipsychotic medication and is experiencing catatonia symptoms, the medication must be evaluated.



Benzodiazepines are a type of tranquilizer that is often used to treat catatonic schizophrenia. The medication works quickly and can be injected into a vein. If taken over an extended period of time, there is a danger of dependence. The patient may need to take this drug for several days or weeks.

Barbiturates are also known as depressants and sedatives. They act to paralyze the central nervous system. Their effects range from light sedation to complete anesthesia. Barbiturates treat catatonia symptoms quickly. There is a danger of dependence if used over an extended period of time. This medication is used less frequently than barbiturates to treat catatonic schizophrenia.

Antidepressants and mood stabilizers are used when catatonic schizophrenia patients sometimes have other mental health issues, such as depression.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

This can reduce your symptoms in half or possibly eliminate them entirely. If drugs haven’t worked, your doctor may suggest this method. To reach your brain, ECT employs brief bursts of electric current that pass via a cap on your head. The therapy may cause disorientation and short memory loss.

Psychosocial therapies

Psychosocial therapies can assist you in better coping with daily life. These approaches combine talk therapy with social skills to assist you in a number of circumstances. During therapy sessions, you will learn mindfulness and stress management skills, as well as warning indicators to alert your doctor.

catatonic schizophrenia

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