What is catatonic schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Catatonic schizophrenia is a type of schizophrenia where people display behaviors that are considered extreme. When people hear the word catatonic, they often think of someone who is sedated and mute. However, catatonic schizophrenia refers to people who might be sedated and mute, or who might be extremely active and out of control. According to the Mayo Clinic, this type of schizophrenia is rare. Some of the symptoms associated with catatonic schizophrenia include:

- having strange movements and facial expressions
- repeating behaviors or phrases over and over again
- mimicking words and actions of others
- moving quickly, or on the contrary, unable to speak or move

People with catatonic schizophrenia will display the above characteristics more prominently than other symptoms of schizophrenia. Symptoms in this type of schizophrenia may last minutes or up to several weeks, depending on whether a person seeks treatment and how she responds to treatment.

Schizophrenia is a disorder of the mind that results in a person misunderstanding what is real, and catatonic schizophrenia deals with movement. This disorder involves both hyperactivity and immobility. Due to improved treatment options, catatonic schizophrenia is not common. It is often linked to other mental disorders.

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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.