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How do I manage my catatonic schizophrenia on a daily basis?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Catatonic schizophrenia is a type of schizophrenia with movement-related symptoms. These symptoms may range from one extreme to another. You may be completely unable to move or respond to people around you (catatonic), or you may become agitated and hyperactive. Without proper treatment, catatonic episodes can last for several weeks.

On a daily basis, the best thing you can do to manage your catatonic schizophrenia is to stick with the treatment plan that your doctor (or team of healthcare providers) has outlined for you.  Unlike other types of schizophrenia, your doctor may not prescribe antipsychotic medications, because these can make catatonic symptoms worse. Instead, he or she may prescribe benzodiazepines, which are sedating medicines used to get you out of your catatonic state.

In addition to benzodiazepines, your doctor may recommend electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). ECT is one of the main ways catatonic symptoms are treated. It consists of electrical currents that are passed through the brain. These currents cause a small seizure in the brain, which can change the chemical balance within the brain and help catatonic symptoms.

In addition to medicine and ECT, your doctor may suggest counseling, vocational training, or other ways to help your schizophrenia. If you are consistent about following your treatment plan -- even when you are feeling well and may feel like you don't need to be treated for anything -- you have the best chance of reducing your symptoms and being productive in your life. It may also be helpful to you to have a family member or friend who can serve as your support person to help you out at times when you may need it.

Manage your catatonic schizophrenia on a daily basis by taking your medications and following your doctor' s orders. People with catatonic schizophrenia often find it difficult to keep up with their medication and treatment plan. People with all types of schizophrenia often believe they don' t need to be medicated. They might also stop taking medication because they do not like the side effects. If you follow your doctor' s orders for medication, therapy, and other treatments, you will manage your schizophrenia well and prevent symptom outbreaks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.