FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 more open access pages.

Catatonia is a state of excited or inhibited motor activity, in the absence of a mood disorder, such as depression or elation, or neurological disease.

The term was used in the past to describe a distinct syndrome. Now however it more often describes symptoms which occur individually.

Stupor and excitement are the more prominent symptoms.

Other abnormal behaviours include:

  • posturing
  • negativism
  • echopraxia
  • echolalia
  • ambitendence
  • mitgehen
  • repeated movements


  • related definitions
    • catalepsy
      • indefinitely prolonged maintenance of a fixed body posture
        • characterized by lack of response to external stimuli and by muscular rigidity
          • may occur in variety of physical and psychological disorders, such as epilepsy and schizophrenia
          • also can be induced by hypnosis
    • cataleptic is defined as either:
      • pertaining to, characterized by, or inducing catalepsy, or,
      • a person affected with catalepsy

Last reviewed 01/2018