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Catatonia in DSM-III and After 

Catatonia in DSM-III and After
Catatonia in DSM-III and After

Edward Shorter

and Max Fink

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date: 07 March 2021

For almost a century, catatonia was considered only as a sign of schizophrenia and cases were classified as “schizophrenia, catatonic type,” as in DSM-III in 1980. Awareness that catatonia was an identifiable syndrome independent of schizophrenia and treatable with approaches not effective in relieving schizophrenia led to the development of rating scales to identify catatonia, benzodiazepine challenge tests to verify the diagnosis, and efficient protocols to successfully treat the syndrome. By 1994, in DSM-IV, catatonia was also identified as a syndrome secondary to a medical condition and assigned a unique identification number. By 2013, in DSM-5, the class of catatonic schizophrenia was deleted, and catatonia was recognized as an identifiable, verifiable, and treatable behavior syndrome.

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