Causes and symptoms of Catatonic depression
Catatonic depression is a kind of depression which is characterized by prolonged periods of speechlessness and motionlessness. It is described as a state of mind that is caused by neurogenic and motor inabilities caused due to dysfunction of various neurotransmitters like glutamate and dopamine. People who suffer from a severe case of this condition, even have difficulty in performing simple regular tasks. For example, the act of eating breakfast may take a span of hours.
Some of the common symptoms of this condition are:
- Feelings of sadness
- A change in appetite causing gain or loss of weight
- Difficulty in concentrating and thinking
- Feelings of restlessness, worthlessness, and guilt
- A loss of interest in any activity
- Trouble sleeping
- Attempts at suicide
- Cynicism and negativism
- Unusual and abnormal movements
- An inability to move and difficulty in speaking
- A refusal to eat or drink due to extreme anxiety
The major causes of catatonic depression are:
1. Abnormal neurotransmitter production - Irregularities in the production of neurotransmitters are believed to be one of the major causative factors of this type of depression. These neurotransmitters present in the brain help cells to communicate with each other. Serotonin and norepinephrine are the neurotransmitters which are mostly associated with this type of depression.
2. Dopamine irregularities - Another reason for this condition is believed to be the irregularities in dopamine, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter systems. Underlying neurological, physical, psychiatric or psychological conditions are accompanying issues.
Administering antidepressants or using electroconvulsive therapy are some of the known ways of treatment which have proved effective for getting relief from catatonic depression.