Catatonia is a state of constrained postures, unresponsiveness to stimuli, mutism, repetitive speech and imitative gestures. It is associated with many psychiatric disorders including catatonic schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as drug abuse and overdoses. The term was introduced into the medical literature by the German psychiatrist Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum in 1874.


Fink, M., Taylor A. (2006). “Catatonia: A Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment“. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kahlbaum, K. (1874). “Die Katatonie oder das Spannungsirresein: Eine klinische Form psychischer Krankheit“. Berlin: Hirschwald.