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Delirious Mania and Febrile Catatonia 

Delirious Mania and Febrile Catatonia
Delirious Mania and Febrile Catatonia

Edward Shorter

and Max Fink

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date: 05 March 2021

The acute onset of excited, aggressive, and destructive states, often febrile, described as Bell’s mania and Stauder’s delirium are hallmarks in the literature. Death is frequent. Subjects are disoriented, and delirious with catatonia signs of mutism, posturing, and repetitive speech. Treatments were ineffective until multiple daily induced seizures (ECT) were shown to be life-saving. A syndrome of nostalgia was also described in French and German armies among subjects pining to death. Delirious mania and its fatal variants were a rock-solid part of traditional psychiatric diagnosis. By the 1960s, almost everywhere in the UK and Europe, fatal delirious mania or pernicious catatonia was an accepted part of psychiatric diagnostics that a clinician would ignore at the patient’s peril.

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