Demo Chapter – Interacting with a Patient with Catatonia

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.