Interacting with a Patient with Catatonia
Patients with stuporous catatonia may not be able to speak back to you if mute, but it’s important to:
- Make time for the patient.
- Be there when you say you will.
- Sit in silence for a time.
- Don’t pressure the patient to speak.
- These patients may experience pathological ambivalence (4), and have trouble making decisions—even the decision to speak.
- Spending time with the patient in silence is meaningful.
Be aware that patients with excited catatonia may strike out.
(4) Bartolommei, N., Lattanzi, L., Callari, A., Cosentino, L., Luchini, F., & Mauri, M. (2012). Catatonia: a critical review and therapeutic recommendations. Journal of psychopathology, 18, p. 235.