Catatonic Schizophrenia (A complete guide)

In this brief guide, catatonic schizophrenia along with the definition of Schizophrenia, its symptoms, causes, diagnosis types, and course of Schizophrenia will be discussed.

What is Catatonic Schizophrenia

The catatonic schizophrenia is the type of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia lies in the psychotic disorders, which means that individual experiencing the symptoms is a loss of touch with reality.

Psychosis can be defined as a state in which a person loses contact with reality in key ways.

A psychotic disorder in which personal, social, and occupational functioning deteriorates as a result of strange perceptions, unusual emotions, and motor abnormalities.

Person experiencing the catatonic schizophrenia experience, awkward movements or repeated grimaces and odd gestures.

These unusual gestures often seem to have a private purpose—perhaps ritualistic or magical.

Psychomotor symptoms of schizophrenia may take certain extreme forms, collectively called catatonia.

The catatonic stupor stops responding to their environment, remaining motionless and silent for long stretches of time catatonic rigidity maintains a rigid, upright posture for hours and resist efforts to be moved catatonic posturing, assuming awkward, bizarre positions for long periods of time.

They may, for example, spend hours holding their arms out at a 90-degree angle or balancing in a squatting position.

The catatonic excitement, a different form of catatonia, move excitedly, sometimes with wild waving of arms and legs.

Before we move forward with the description and diagnosis of catatonic schizophrenia, you need to know what is schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a condition of disturbed reality contact. The person loses control over their environment.

The concern of most people is regarding the treatment of schizophrenia.

They wonder if the hallucinations people experience is in a person’s control or not.

The answers to the questions related to nature, diagnosis, types, and causes of schizophrenia are collectively compiled here.

Schizophrenia is a lifelong disorder and treatment takes time, but with early treatment, the severity can be controlled, to improve the quality of life.

Overview of Schizophrenia symptoms

Some of the symptoms of schizophrenia are such as loss of touch with reality, and the person reacts to the surroundings in unusual ways.

Some of them report being suspicious, having false claims regarding their existence, or they may hear or see things that are not actually there.

Furthermore, the symptoms extend to the behavioural symptoms as well and can be shown in the unusual posturing, silliness, agitation, as well as resistance to commands or excessive motor activity.

Their speech can get disturbed as well and there are times when people start noticing that the conversations are no more fluent and they jump from one context to the next that the other person is unable to grasp the content.

Along with that their expression of emotions and understanding the feelings of another person also gets disturbed.

They become socially withdrawn.

Diagnostic Criteria of Schizophrenia

       The following diagnostic criteria is consisting of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM 5, 2012).

A.    More than two symptoms are required to be present in the 1-month period at least (one of them must be from a-c):

a.    Delusions

b.    Hallucinations

c.     Disorganized Speech

d.    Grossly Disorganized Catatonic Behaviour

e.    Negative Symptoms

B.    The functioning of the person is disturbed in his life domains e.g. work, social, self-care, academic, or personal life.

C.   The duration of experiencing these symptoms must be 6 months or more

D.   Schizoaffective or other mood disorders are not present

E.    The symptoms are not because of any medication or substance abuse.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

       There are negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia.

The positive symptoms include: unrealistic perceptions or actions and have the altered reality.

Positive Symptoms:

Hallucinations: In this, the person hears, see, smell and feel the things which are actually not here.

There are different types of hallucinations:

       Auditory: In this, the person hears voices and thinks that someone is talking to them.

These voices sometimes give them commands or orders or keep giving messages.

Initially, these voices are not forceful and interfering, but with the passage of time, they get demanding and sometimes become dangerous for the person’s life.

They can command the person to commit suicide or sometimes just leads to harm themselves.

At other times to avoid the constant voices people attempt suicide.

There is variation in voices, some report hearing one voice, some report hearing more than one voice, either they are in conversation with each other or with the client.

Visual: The visual hallucinations are consisting of the images and seeing lights, objects, people or patterns when they are actually not there.

They can be about anyone they love or friends. This type of hallucination is less common than auditory hallucinations.

Olfactory: In this type, the person is able to smell which just doesn’t exist in reality.

They may believe that they are having the smell of particular disgusting or loveable things even when it is not around.

Gustatory: People use to experience the taste which they haven’t eaten, and claims that they just had it.

Tactile: People experiencing these hallucinations experience the sensation of something moving on their body, the tingling sensation or that something is crawling on their skin.

Delusions: Delusions are false beliefs that are rigid and cannot be easily challenged.

These delusions are true to the person experiencing them that they believe in them, as the normal functioning person believes in the existence of God, or the existence of sun and moon.

There are different types of delusions as well:

       Persecutory Delusions: These delusions are related to the fear that someone is stalking, haunting or getting tricked into something dangerous.

       Referential Delusions: In these people believes that the information being shared on TV, radio, Podcasts, Movies or songs are related to them and are giving them some important message, designed for them only.

       Somatic Delusions: People start believing that they are having some chronic or fatal illness.

The idea of illness is so bizarre that they believe that some creature is travelling within their skin or body and is incurable.

       Erotomanic Delusions: People experiencing this sort of delusions thinks that some famous figure or celebrity is in love with them or their partner is not faithful.

They also believe that people are pursuing them.

       Religious Delusions: They believe that they are having a special connection with God or are in a secret relationship with God, and maybe possessed by demons.

       Grandiose Delusions: They have false claims of superiority and consider themselves as important figures or someone having a superior position in society.

Confused Thoughts and disorganized speech: People with schizophrenia experience irrational thinking patterns as well as inability to make sense of their thoughts.

This confusion of their thoughts is manifested in their speech as well.

They easily get distracted while talking or in some conversation with another person.

Trouble Concentrating: The disturbance in their concentration is also prominent, they lose the understanding of the situation and cannot follow the conversations or memorize the important things.

Which in result affects the participation in the environment around them.

Disorganized Movement: People use to get disorganized in their motor behaviour as well, they experience the spur of energy at one time and show excessive motor activity, while at other times become completely still for hours and stay in any absurd posture.

Negative Symptoms

     The negative symptoms are related to the unusual mental functioning related to the emotions, feelings, perception, and behaviour of the person.

These include the following:

Lack of Pleasure: The person stops enjoying the activities which they used to enjoy before, and are not excited about their pleasurable activities anymore.

This condition is also called anhedonia and people simply lose interest in doing anything.

Trouble with speech: In this condition, people completely avoid social interaction and are not interested in talking to other people, as well as expressing their own feelings.

This condition is also called alogia.

Flattening: They go monotone and completely flat in their expressions. When they are talking their tone seems flat as well as their emotions and facial expressions are not expressive.

They seem blank and usually don’t smile, along with that they also show inappropriate facial expressions.

Withdrawal: They are interested in staying aloof and away from socialization.

They avoid friends and when someone tries to talk to them, they make them uncomfortable and irritable by their lack of responses.

They will never acknowledge the feelings of another person or show concern.

This condition is also called apathy.

Difficulty in daily living: They are unable to complete their daily activities, and do the regular home chores.

They are unable to maintain basic hygiene and arranging meals for themselves.

Lack of goal: These people are unable to make any goal-directed activity, and are not following a routine.

They get distracted easily while going for one thing and get disorganized and unable to finish what they have started.

This condition is usually known as avolition.

Prevalence of Schizophrenia

       There are studies done on the number of incidents and approximately 0.3% -0.7% were reported in the US.

Males usually have a longer duration of negative symptoms.

Course of Schizophrenia

       It has been seen that most cases emerge in late teens and mid 3o’s. Whereas early onset is quite rare.

The earlier the onset the worst prognosis. Whereas, the earlier symptoms of schizophrenia in children are hard to notice.

       Married females usually have more chances of having late-onset after 40 years of age.

Suicide Risk

       There are chances of suicide as the condition matures and the intensity of symptoms increases.

The figures given in researches quote that 5%-6% of people with schizophrenia die as a result of suicide and more than 20% attempt suicide anytime in their lives.

Types of Schizophrenia

       There were a number of different types of schizophrenia in the past, but these types are not considered in the updated version of mental disorders manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Before schizophrenia was recognized having multiple forms as under:

1.    Catatonic Schizophrenia

2.    Childhood Schizophrenia

3.    Paranoid Schizophrenia

4.    Schizoaffective Schizophrenia

5.    Disorganized or hebephrenic Schizophrenia

According to the latest upgrade, all these types are merged into one and names as Schizophrenia spectrum disorder.

This advancement was made because of the low reliability and poor validity of the diagnosis.

The separate diagnosis was not a predictor of better treatment or prognosis.

     Subtypes of Schizophrenia:

             There are a number of subtypes of schizophrenia which are listed here, some of them are obsolete and are combined into the spectrum of schizophrenia:

a.    Schizoaffective Disorder:

As its name says that it is the combination of schizophrenia symptoms of delusions and hallucinations as well as mood disorder symptoms like elated mood or low mood.

b.    Catatonia:

This type used to have extreme behaviour, and excessive motor activity is involved.

Along with that the person is involved in absurd or unusual body posturing and gets stuck in one position for longer periods of time.

c.     Childhood-onset schizophrenia:

It is extremely rare and occurs at the age of 10 years or younger. If the onset is early, the prognosis or chances of recovery will be less.

d.    Disorganized schizophrenia

It is that people experience difficulty in performing daily activities, for example maintaining daily hygiene, and taking care of themselves.

As well as it is difficult to understand their speech.

This is now considered to be a symptom of schizophrenia and not the subtype anymore.

e.    Paranoid Schizophrenia

This subtype is also the part of schizophrenia diagnosis and not the separate type.

Diagnostic Criteria of Catatonic Schizophrenia

To diagnose catatonic schizophrenia following criteria is given in DSM 5.

A three or more of the following symptoms are required,

1.     Stupor, inability to relate to the environment and no psychomotor activity

2.     Catalepsy, stiffness of muscles or particular posture

3.     Waxy Flexibility, resistance to positioning

4.     Mutism, complete silence or no verbal response

5.     Negativism, Opposite behaviour and response

6.     Posturing, posturing against gravity

7.     Mannerism, odd

8.     Stereotypy (repetitive and non-goal directed movement

9.     Agitation

10.  Grimacing

11.  Echolalia, mimicking speech

12.  Echopraxia, mimicking movements

Causes of Catatonic Schizophrenia

       There has been a lot of researches done on the topic of causes of catatonic schizophrenia, and the answer is still unknown.

There are a number of factors that impact the development of the condition.

These include genetics, physical, psychological and environmental conditions.

       The brain development is different in people with catatonic schizophrenia, as well as the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain can create some symptoms of schizophrenia.

       The psychological triggers could be the stress, which can lead to extreme emotional pressure and results in the manifestation of symptoms.

The life stresses for example divorce, losing loved ones, emotional, sexual abuse, etc. are common stresses.

       Along with this drug abuse can sometimes replicate the symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia and the continuous use of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine LSD may lead to trigger the condition.

       Schizophrenia is a deliberating condition causing the derailment and loss of touch with reality.

The diagnostic criteria of catatonic schizophrenia discussed is the widely used criteria to be used for diagnosis by the professionals in the field of mental health.

The symptoms and the significant information regarding the causes and course of the disorder can help the person to deal with them easily.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Catatonic Schizophrenia

What is catatonic behaviour in schizophrenia?

The catatonic behaviour in schizophrenia is that the psychomotor activity is disturbed, and the reduction of voluntary movement.

What causes catatonia in schizophrenia?

The causes of catatonia in schizophrenia can be because of hormonal imbalance and neurotransmitter of dopamine.

This disturbance can be because of any illness.

What are the 4 types of schizophrenia?

The four types of schizophrenia are:

Paranoid Schizophrenia

– Catatonic Schizophrenia

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

– Schizoaffective Disorder

What is a catatonic episode?

The catatonic episode is the state of psychomotor unresponsiveness.

Please make sure to let us know what you think about the article as well as your comments and suggestions regarding the condition, below in the comments section.

What we recommend for Schizophrenia

Professional counselling

If you have Schizophrenia, then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will allow you to practice various habits that improve your overall quality of life.

References

Web MD Schizophrenia symptoms

Mental health UK: Types of Schizophrenia

Medical News Today

 Recommended Readings

Journal & Tracker: Healing Catatonic Schizophrenia: The 30 Day Raw Vegan Plant-Based Detoxification & Regeneration Journal & Tracker for Reversing Conditions. Journal 2 

Catatonic Schizophrenia – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References 

Want To Reverse Your Catatonic Schizophrenia? How We Cured Our Diseases. The 30 Day Journal for Raw Vegan Plant-Based Detoxification & Regeneration with Information & Tips Volume 1 

Reversing Catatonic Schizophrenia: Healing Herbs The Raw Vegan Plant-Based Detoxification & Regeneration Workbook For Healing Patients Volume 8 
Reversing Catatonic Schizophrenia: Success Stories Part 2 The Raw Vegan Plant-Based Detoxification & Regeneration Workbook for Healing Patients. Volume 7

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