Jun 7, 2022

Catatonia: the person’s body may be frozen, but their minds are not

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

One theory for is that it is similar to the “death feint” that some animals show. When faced with a predator of overwhelming size or strength, some prey animals will freeze and presumably the predator may not notice them.

One patient in the study vividly described seeing a snake (which also spoke to her). We can’t say from one example that her body was adopting a primitive defence to a predator, but it’s certainly a possibility.

Catatonia remains a mysterious condition, stuck halfway between neurology and psychiatry. At least by understanding what people may be experiencing, we can provide reassurance and empathy.

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