Catatonia is a symptom characterized by a complete lack of motor control combined with mental stupor. First thought to be a separate condition, it is now better understood as a symptom of many mental illnesses and organic diseases including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression and drug use. Physical illnesses that can present with catatonia include encephalitis, autoimmune diseases, and metabolic diseases.
Catatonia can present in several ways, such as a complete lack of movement, holding a rigid and unnatural posture, or engaging in repetitive but useless movements. Patients are generally unresponsive to any external stimuli.