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Catatonia Associated with Another Mental Disorder (Catatonia Specifier)

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA

This is a new classification in the DSM-5. It does not recognize Catatonia as a separate disorder, but instead as a specifier that can go along with another mental health condition. This might include neurodevelopmental (brain) disorders, bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, or psychotic disorders.

The diagnosis is made when 3 or more of the following are present:

  • Stupor - no body movements and not actively responding to the world around them
  • Catalepsy - taking a body position and holding it against gravity
  • Waxy Flexibility - resisting being moved or put in a position by another person
  • Mutism - no or very little talking
  • Negativism - ignoring or having no response to instructions or the world around them
  • Posturing - spontaneous taking and holding a position that goes against gravity
  • Mannerism - odd or cartoon-like behaviors or actions
  • Stereotypy - repetitive, very frequent movements that are not directed toward achieving a particular goal
  • Agitation - that does not happen because of anything around them
  • Grimacing - making faces
  • Echolalia - mimicking what another person is saying or how they are saying it
  • Echopraxia - mimicking another person's movements

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