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me-a-monsteR
05-06-2012, 04:52 PM
So I'm considering catatonia for a character (not in the Bella Swan way) and I was wondering if anyone knows if a patient can come back from it? If yes, what could prompt a patient to come back and do you think they'll be the same person they were pre-catatonia?
Thanks in advance:)

three_act_climax
05-06-2012, 07:26 PM
From my experience, between 15%-40% of patients show recovery from catatonia (regardless of the type of treatment). Treatment might be in the form of medication (e.g. benzodiazepines) in the supervisory care of an ICU.

archetypewriting
05-07-2012, 06:17 AM
Are you talking about the kind of catatonia associated with psychosis from a major psychological disorder, like schizophrenia or a major depressive disorder? Or due to something neurological? Or due to an adverse reaction to antipsychotics (in which case they would avoid additional antipsychotics during treatment).

I think it depends a bit on what the cause is for what the rates of recovery are.

Antipsychotics like Zyprexa and anti-seizure meds like Tegretol and Klonopin often help with catatonia, and in extreme cases ECT can be tried (electroconvulsive therapy, and no, they don't just wheel the person down and wire them up...it has to go through the legal system if there isn't someone--eg a family member--to give permission).

ajoker
05-07-2012, 06:20 AM
Am I only one that clicked in here thinking the Welsh band had gotten back together?

Buffysquirrel
05-07-2012, 05:41 PM
I thought it said Catalonia.

me-a-monsteR
05-07-2012, 08:39 PM
Thank you all, even the confused company. The catatonia I had in mind, was one associated with post-traumatic stress, that would render the character immobile and disassociated from her surroundings. I've read about the benzodiazepines and ECT treatments. But I just wondered whether these treatments could restore the person from immobility to who they were before - mobile and with normal thought processes. The percentages three_act_climax quoted... does anyone know if those people went on to live normal lives?

GradyHendrix
05-07-2012, 09:15 PM
ECT has proven to be most effective at dealing with clinical depression, and it's not a one-time treatment. Usually people come once every 6 weeks for a course of it, and they're given a general anesthetic in most cases.

Raventongue
05-07-2012, 11:54 PM
Thank you all, even the confused company. The catatonia I had in mind, was one associated with post-traumatic stress, that would render the character immobile and disassociated from her surroundings. I've read about the benzodiazepines and ECT treatments. But I just wondered whether these treatments could restore the person from immobility to who they were before - mobile and with normal thought processes. The percentages three_act_climax quoted... does anyone know if those people went on to live normal lives?

That is a valid symptom of PTSD, but I presume you know that it's quite rare. Many people who have PTSD will never experience catatonia- some are actually convinced it's just the hollywood version of it for that very reason.

I've heard remission rates from the catatonia associated with PTSD are quite high (recovery rates from PTSD itself are not). Unless I'm mistaken, sometimes they come back to their surroundings on their own over time. But I don't know anything about actual recovery rates (i.e. a cessation of catatonic episodes) or treatments.

archetypewriting
05-08-2012, 07:38 AM
I've heard remission rates from the catatonia associated with PTSD are quite high (recovery rates from PTSD itself are not).

That's a really important point. If you're thinking about creating a character with PTSD, do realize that catatonia almost never occurs. In fact, one of the only academic references I could find it titled "Catatonia as an unusual presentation of posttraumatic stress disorder" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8838400) Another professional emphasizes that catatonia is a symptom of other conditions, not a condition itself, and that "a careful medical, neurological, and psychiatric work-up is essential [to discovering why the person is catatonic]."

Finally, you may or may not know that catatonia is not always unresponsive stillness -- it can actually be an increase in motor behavior.

I think it can be a struggle to portray disorders like PTSD. There are so many other (far more common) symptoms people with PTSD have. And you have to portray symptoms of a psychological disorder consistently -- it can't just come and go when the author needs it to -- and that requires a lot of diligence. Not saying you shouldn't do it, just remarking that catatonia is a serious symptom of a serious problem, and you'd have to portray the illness around the catatonia. The catatonia can't just come and go as needed for the story.

Xelebes
05-08-2012, 08:25 AM
Probably a better word for those who suffer from PTSD with immobile disassociation is "stupor." Just came across this when reading up on the various manifestations of catatonia and it describes what I have experienced with regards to this affliction. The word also has the benefit of being more familiar. For myself, the only treatments I have had for mine have been benzos and destimulation (removal from the stress-inducing situation.)

me-a-monsteR
05-08-2012, 02:17 PM
Thank you all for the enlightening discussion. I think I know how to proceed now. :)

Raventongue
05-08-2012, 08:54 PM
Glad to hear it! :)