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What are the treatment options for catatonic schizophrenia?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
As with schizophrenia, the most effective treatment for catatonic schizophrenia is medication. Unlike schizophrenia, though, people with catatonic schizophrenia should not take antipsychotic medications. Fast-acting, injectable benzodiazepines may offer relief for some catatonic symptoms, including anxiety. Though rarely used, barbiturates can also help reduce symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia. Other medications for the illness include antidepressants and mood-stabilizers.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can help people with catatonic schizophrenia. Some people with catatonic schizophrenia benefit from individual and group therapy. They often need to be stabilized on medications before they can participate in therapy. Once they are well on the road to recovery, rehabilitation and vocational training therapy groups can be helpful as well.
Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Like schizophrenia, the most effective treatment for catatonic schizophrenia is medication. Unlike schizophrenia, though, people with catatonic schizophrenia should not take antipsychotic medications. Fast-acting, injectable benzodiazepines may offer relief for some catatonic symptoms, including anxiety. Though rarely used, barbiturates can also help reduce symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia. Other medications for the illness include antidepressants and mood-stabilizers. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can help people with catatonic schizophrenia. Some people with catatonic schizophrenia benefit from individual and group therapy. Of course, they often need to be stabilized on medications before they can participate in therapy. Once they are well on the road to recovery, rehabilitation and vocational training therapy groups can be helpful as well.

Catatonic schizophrenia treatments are geared toward reducing symptoms, as there is no cure for the disorder. Treatment consists of a combination of medication and therapy, as well as hospitalization and support from a group of individuals who help to ensure you are well.

First, medications are the most important part of catatonic schizophrenia treatment. Without them, individuals would not be able to control their disorder and would have psychotic episodes. In fact, staying on medication is highly associated with avoiding hospitalization and relieving symptoms.

Electroconvulsive therapy is also used to treat catatonic schizophrenia. In this procedure, electrical charges cause seizures in your brain, altering some of the more severe symptoms. This treatment option is generally only used when others have failed to work.

Finally, individuals with catatonic schizophrenia may receive individual therapy sessions with a psychiatrist, training sessions meant to ready them for a job, and hospitalization to protect them when symptoms become severe.

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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.