Catatonic schizophrenia is a mental disorder subtype, one of the classifications used for schizophrenia based on the current symptoms experienced by the individual. When someone is classified as being catatonic this refers to the movement disturbances that they have. People in this state may show a considerable reduction in normal movement and activity, sometimes to a severity level where all voluntary movement stops and the individual goes into a catatonic stupor. In other situations the individual may experience catatonic excitement, and their movements and activity level will suddenly increase significantly. Both extremes are undesirable and can have a detrimental effect on the person. There are also other movement disturbances and changes in activity that may be exhibited as well. Stereotypical behavior may be seen, and this involves actions that seem purposeless but which are repeatedly performed.
Someone who has catatonic schizophrenia may seem immobile, and they may resist changes in appearance or positioning. When placed in a specific position they may stay like that without moving for hours or even longer. Waxy flexibility is the term used to describe this symptom, and even when the person looks severely uncomfortable in their current position they may seem very strong when they resist any attempt to move or reposition them by others. Some of the symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia may be identical to symptoms of other mental disorders. Positions and movements which may appear to indicate tardive dyskinesia can be seen in some cases, and mimicking the speech or movements of others may also be exhibited which could cause confusion over whether Tourette’s Syndrome is an issue.