Happy Monday! Erica from Chapter by Chapter had a great question of what the difference was between being catatonic and being in a coma.
The words "catatonic" is thrown around in conversation all the time. But what does it really mean?
A person with catatonia can exhibit several different symptoms, such as:
-waxy flexibility (staying in awkward positions when placed in them by other people)
-purposeless resistance to commands or being moved
-repetitive, meaningless actions or spoken phrases
-echolalia, or repeating phrases spoken to them
-echopraxia, or copying other people's gestures
Catatonic persons may maintain rigid postures for hours, and ignore external stimuli. There is another form, called catatonic excitement, in which the person exhibits constant, hyperactive activity.
Catatonic schizophrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia, but catatonia can also be seen in other psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
Medically, it can be seen in encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), drug overdose, autoimmune disorders, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
So. What's the difference between catatonia and a coma?
A coma is a state where the person is deeply unconscious and cannot be awoken. There's one huge difference. Catatonic patients are awake when exhibiting these symptoms.
Also, the causes of coma are exclusively medical, rather than psychiatric, such as head trauma, overdose, stroke, a low oxygen insult, amongst others.
Please keep in mind this post is for writing purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice!
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Also, don't forget to check out Mental Health Mondays at Laura's Blog!