Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that can affect a person’s life and wellbeing on all levels. It is characterized by disturbances in thought and behavior that manifest as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thoughts, and abnormal responses. Many people who have schizophrenia also struggle with symptoms that make their form of illness unique. With catatonic schizophrenia, a person exhibits many of the characteristic symptoms of schizophrenia, but they also meet the diagnostic criteria for catatonia.
If you or a loved one have experienced symptoms of schizophrenia and/or catatonia, or have been diagnosed with catatonic schizophrenia, you might be wondering if it’s possible to return to a sense of normalcy. Fortunately, medicine and psychotherapy treatments have come a long way in the last few decades and it is now possible for those with catatonic schizophrenia to lead relatively normal, productive lives.
Get answers to your questions and the help you’re looking for by making an appointment with renowned Beverly Hills psychotherapist Dr. Cassidy Blair of Blair Wellness Clinic.
Characteristics of Catatonic Behavior
Schizophrenia is a complex mental health disorder that is marked by three types of symptoms — positive, negative, and cognitive. Positive symptoms are those that are unnaturally present and include things such as hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized behavior. Negative symptoms are those that are unnaturally absent. For instance, reduced speech and facial expressions, social withdrawal, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed. Cognitive symptoms are the third category and they are the ones that affect thinking, memory, and processing of information.
A person with catatonic schizophrenia may have a few or even several of the symptoms listed above, but they also exhibit catatonic behavior. Catatonia is distinguished by unusual physical movement and a lack of verbal response, among other things. A person who is in a catatonic state may remain motionless in odd or uncomfortable-looking positions for an extended period of time. They may also be unable to speak or respond in any way for hours or even days. In other instances, a person with catatonia will exhibit loud exclamations or repetitive echoing of words for no apparent reason.
In addition to these, symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia may also include:
- Waxy flexibility — When limbs remain in the position that another person places them in
- Contorted facial movements
- Catalepsy — a trance-like seizure
- Odd or exaggerated movements
- Lack of influence by external stimuli
- Meaningless repetition of words or movements
Treatment For Catatonic Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia may be a lifelong illness for which there is currently no cure, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not treatable. All types of schizophrenia including the catatonic form can be managed successfully through medication and ongoing psychotherapy. In fact, individuals who are committed to a treatment program are often able to go on to lead independent and productive lives.
At Blair Wellness Group, we specialize in a wide variety of mental health disorders including all forms of schizophrenia. We’ll help you achieve a better understanding of your illness and create a personalized treatment plan aimed at managing your symptoms and establishing improved day-to-day normalcy.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a Beverly Hills psychotherapist who is dedicated to your mental health and wellbeing, please call Blair Wellness Group at 310.999.4996.
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