Catatonic Schizophrenia Symptoms

Schizophrenia is divided into three main subtypes, depending on which class of symptoms are most prominent: paranoid, disorganized, and catatonic. Catatonic schizophrenia, characterized by movement disorders, is rare now that schizophrenia treatment has improved. People with catatonic schizophrenia have episodes of either a stuporous, coma-like state or an excited, hyperactive state. These episodes usually last at least a day, and can last for more than a month if not treated effectively.

Signs and symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia may include:

  • Physical immobility, which includes symptoms such as ceasing to move or speak voluntarily, holding a position for hours at a time, and developing something known as waxy flexibility, where a catatonic schizophrenic who has been posed in a certain way will stay that way for hours. Catatonic schizophrenics may also show extreme resistance to instructions and changes in position.
  • At the opposite end of the spectrum is excessive mobility, frenzied behavior that can include shouting, pacing, and rapid speech.
  • Peculiar movements are another symptom, such as unusual postures, prolonged grimaces, and strange mannerisms. Catatonic schizophrenics may also do things like repeat words, obsessively follow a certain routine, or always arrange objects in exactly the same way.
  • Mimicking of other people's speech or movements may also be seen in catatonic schizophrenia.

While the catatonic behaviors are what distinguishes catatonic schizophrenia from other types of the disease, catatonic schizophrenics may also have some of the other common symptoms of schizophrenia. These include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations, especially auditory hallucinations
  • Incoherent speech
  • Social withdrawal
  • Inappropriate emotions
  • Flattening of emotions
  • Neglect of personal hygiene

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