Demo Chapter – Background on Catatonia


Background on Catatonia


  • Catatonia was first defined by Karl Kahlbaum in 1874 in a study describing patients with severe psychiatric disorders(1).
  • Kahlbaum and others noted a syndrome including:
    • Short stages of immobility.
    • Stupor or melancholy.
    • Excitement or hyperactivity.
    • An association with some medical illnesses and what would later be known as mood disorders and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
(1) Kahlbaum, K. (1874). Catatonia or the tension insanity. Berlin: verlag august hirshwald.