catatonia

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Related to Catatonic state: catatonic schizophrenia, catatonia, Catatonic stupor

catatonia

(kăt'ətō`nēə), mental state generally characterized by statuesque posturing, muscular immobility, mutism, and apparent stupor. The muscles are held in a pliant state called waxy flexibility, and the catatonic person obediently permits himself to be rearranged into awkward positions that he may subsequently hold for hours. Another form of catatonia involves continuous incoherent shouting, psychomotor agitation, and a violent destructiveness which can lead to collapse and death if untreated. Loss of memory or intellect is not necessarily implied: catatonic patients often display excellent memory of their surroundings during the catatonic state. In recent years, drug therapy has been helpful in the avoidance of catatonic disturbances, and the appearance of catatonia is now quite rare. Described by Karl Kahlbaum (1874) as catatonia, the term was subsumed under Eugen BleulerBleuler, Eugen
, 1857–1939, Swiss psychiatrist. He taught (1898–1927) at the Univ. of Zürich, serving concurrently as director of Zürich's Burghölzi Asylum.
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's concept of schizophreniaschizophrenia
, group of severe mental disorders characterized by reality distortions resulting in unusual thought patterns and behaviors. Because there is often little or no logical relationship between the thoughts and feelings of a person with schizophrenia, the disorder has
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 in 1911. It has recently been classified as catatonic schizophrenia by the American Psychiatric Association.

Catatonia

 

or catatonic syndrome, a mental disorder dominated by impairment of motor activity.

Catatonia is a syndrome in schizophrenia and in psychoses resulting from poisoning, infection, or organic brain lesions. There are two alternating phases: stupor and excitement. In catatonic stupor, the tone of the skeletal muscles increases to the point where the patient remains frozen in any position, however uncomfortable, in which he is placed (catalepsy). The rigidity may reach the extremes of muscular tension: stupor with the extremities drawn close to the abdomen and the head bent, that is, the fetal position. The facial expression is frozen and the patient remains completely mute. External stimuli (for example, pain) or even extraordinary circumstances (fire, earthquake) do not prompt the patient to protect himself. Any attempt to change the position of a person in a deep stupor will induce muscular resistance.

Catatonic excitement may be bizarre and pathetic (the patients behave foolishly, ranting, singing, and striking affected poses) or impulsive, frantic, and aggressive. The mind of catatonics may stay clear or become clouded. Catatonia is relieved through the treatment of the causative disease.

catatonia

[‚kad·ə′tōn·ē·ə]
(psychology)
A type of schizophrenic reaction in which the individual remains speechless and motionless, assumes fixed postures, and lacks the will and resists attempts to activate speech and movement. Also known as catatonic schizophrenia.

catatonia

a state of muscular rigidity and stupor, sometimes found in schizophrenia
References in periodicals archive ?
Davy refuses to go, but an artillery barrage knocks her out and she is placed on the boat, where she lapses into a catatonic state.
He presented to a medical ward in a severe catatonic state, resistive to physical examination, adamantly but mutely refusing to open his eyes or mouth, and combative when nurses attempted to reposition him.
The catatonic state may be interrupted by short periods of frenzied activity, during which the patient may do considerable damage to others as well as to him or herself.
Their mother descends into a nearly catatonic state, and the children must assume responsibility for sailing the boat and keeping their mother, their little brother, and themselves alive.
As you survey the room, 1/3 of the students appear to be hung-over, another 1/3 are in a catatonic state for an undetermined reason, and 1/3 seem fairly eager to learn.
Thankfully, he'd promised to wake up and start both fulfilling his potential and taking his share of responsibility, shrugging off the almost catatonic state that had afflicted him.
At this point he's lost and in a catatonic state,'' Phil Brunelle said.
I must have entered a catatonic state, because the next thing I recall was blinking my eyes and finding myself toe to toe with the first camper.
An Alberta woman who was a patient and in a catatonic state in a mental hospital was given an involuntary shock treatment after a Review Panel at the hospital decided that it should be ordered.
The next step, however, has the 27-year-old in the financial equivalent of a catatonic state.
In the text, Goldberg and McCann bully Stanley into submission and by the end of act 3 they lead him away in a nearly catatonic state.
A demonic Army psychiatrist fetches him to help make contract with his old high-school buddy Birdy (Matthew Modine), another vet whom the war has scarred so profoundly that he crouches naked in a catatonic state in a dungeonlike military asylum.