Major depressive disorder is a mental ailment in which the victim exhibits an extreme mood, low self regard as well as loss of concern in activities that are usually considered to be pleasurable. Catatonic (depression) is a major type of depression that is exemplified by relentless motor function disturbances.

It is nonetheless not viewed as a disconnect disorder but usually linked with other psychiatric conditions, such as, drug abuse. It is caused by cognitions and environmental factors. The major cause of catatonic depression is negativity of a person or in the way he or she perceives different aspects of life. It is a disposition disorder and has an effect on an individual’s life, for example, the person’s health. It may even lead to suicide. This paper examines the causes, symptoms, prevention, treatment and various arguments in relation to Catatonic depression.

Literature Review

Dhossche (2006) asserts that catatonic syndrome is characterized by coexistence of psychiatric symptoms and motor symptoms. There is an association of catatonia with depression, alcoholism, syphilis and epilepsy. Catatonic signs can appear in a variety of disorders and it is not therefore purely a psychiatric condition associated with schizophrenia as it was earlier believed. The identification of major depressive ailment is dependent on the self-reported occurrences from the patient himself/herself, demeanors accounted by acquaintances or family members, and a mental status test.

Nevertheless, there is no (laboratory) examination for the disorder (major depression). Therapeutic practitioners in general call for examinations for (physical) conditions that may result in similar indications so as to establish the outcomes and degree of the major depression. According to Gelder, Mayou and Geddes (2005), a depressive ailment may result in dawdling recovery of the sick individual and may impinge on or deteriorate the victim’s physical health if it is not noticed at some point in the early phases. Beck and Alford (2009) asserts that in the class of disposition disorders, catatonic indicators are normally linked to bipolar I ailment which is a disposition disorder concerning depressive and mania phases. Signs and symptoms of catatonic exhilaration, for instance, unsystematic movement not linked to the surroundings or replication of phrases, words, and movements may take place for the period of manic stage.

The authentic catatonic indicators are unfeasible to make a distinction from those witnessed in catatonic (schizophrenia). The catatonic symptoms may also appear in combination with other mood disorders, including bipolar II disorder, mixed disorders and major depressive disorders.

Causes of Catatonic depression

Catatonic depression is mainly caused by problems in production of neurotransmitters within the brain. These are substances that carry out impulses beside a nerve (from one nerve unit to the other). Serotonins (as well as norepinephrine) are believed to be the most essential neuro-transmitters that are linked to depression. Other causes include psycho-social, genetic among other factors.

Psychological causes

This involves different aspects of personality, where there is negativity in ones way of life, there is a tendency to develop depression since ones emotions are affected in a negative way. This is caused by the inability of an individual to cope with situations and low self esteem.

A person may develop depression due to ealy relationships with the parents or caretakers for example during infant stage for example loss of a parent or mistreatment and rejection of the child.

Social causes

Social factors like poverty can cause mental disorders one of them being depression. Child abuse which may be physical, emotional or sexual can cause depression later in life as the child live to remember the ordeal many years after its occurrence. This is built on the argument that it is during the childhood days that a person’s develops and learns how to be a social being.

Any ill-treatment may disfigure a child’s character development and afterward lead to depression and other intellectual and expressive disorders. Some kinds of long-term drug use or over-use of drugs and alcohol can also cause depression or worsen depressive conditions.

Evolutionary causes

Major depression is associated with causing an increased individual reproductive fitness. Depression may be hereditary where the depression disorders may be passed genetically. This is linked to some species and the manner in which they adapt to various stimuli especially those who perceive things in a negative manner.

Signs of Catatonic dejection

The most discrete indications are; motor immobility, intense negativism and denial to speak, replication of other individuals terms and deeds as well as eccentric movements. Mainly, people with catatonic depression remain motionless and may remain in a position in which they have been placed for a long time, unnecessary activity that is performed without a specific reason, feelings of worthlessness, unnecessary guilt and regret, helplessness, hopelessness, self-hatred, poor concentration and memory, withdrawal from social situations and activities, reduced sexual desires, and thoughts of suicide.

Catatonic depression patients may be stigmatized (American Psychiatric Association, 2000)

Prevention of Catatonic depression

Although there is no one major preventive measure for depressive disorders, the recommended way to prevent Catatonic depression is through Beck’s cognitive-behavioral therapy. The therapy works by breaking a person’s negative perceptions about him or herself, the world, and their general view of different aspects of life.

Catatonic (depression) Treatment

Preliminary treatment is intended at mitigating the victim from the catatonic situation. The commonly used form of treatment is the use of antidepressants medication. Electroconvulsive remedy is also an effectual treatment for catatonia and its associated causes, for instance, depression. It has a more rapidly effect than anti-depressant (therapy) and hence it is suggested for urgent situations for example where one is refusing to take meals.

Care should be taken in the provision of the medication since wrong use can worsen the situation. When first line treatment fails, other means are used, for example amantadine which may lead to tolerance when its use is prolonged hence causing psychosis. Memantine is another alternative and is ideal for persons who can not put up with amantadine for the reason that it has decreased frequencies of psychosis. Hospitalization is necessary for people who posses signs of being violent and the ability to harm themselves or others.

Counseling is also essential to the patients as it helps them change their negative attitude towards life and value themselves. It helps the patients to raise their self- esteem and learn to live positively hence avoiding stress. Psychotherapy is very useful especially to older people and should be offered in conjunction with medication since it minimizes the chances of the disorder becoming recurrent.

Physical exercise is also crucial in clearing moderate depressive disorders since it keeps the mind occupied and the body fit (Martin, Volkar and Lewis, 2007) It is believed that depressed individuals usually have shorter life expectancies than those without depression. This is because of greater vulnerability to medical illnesses that lead to deterioration a person’s of health and also cases of suicide. Deficiency in societal support, for example, from the close family members may result in stress and strain, which is the commonly reported reason for depression. There are some speculations by the American Psychiatric Association(2000) that states that exposure to ultra-violet light reduces the chances of getting depressive disorders. 30 minutes of vigorous exercise three times a week also reduce the vulnerability of being a victim of depressive disorders. The mainly employed treatments (for depression) are medication, psychiatric therapy, and electroconvulsive (therapy). Psychotherapy is the treatment moist suitable for people under the age of 18years while electroconvulsive therapy is only used where other treatments can not work because of one reason or another.

Care and treatment of depression is mainly done outside the hospital unless for cases where the patients are violent and have signs of causing harm to themselves or to others. It is nevertheless hard to get excellent cure of depression in third world nations due to limited competent personnel as well as medication facilities.


Major depressive disorder is inclusive of various kinds of disorders each with its causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment.

However most disorders share most of the symptoms and characteristics and it is therefore difficult to directly identify a disorder. It is advisable to take preventive measures to ensure that a person does not suffer from these disorders and if the disorder occurs the patient should seek medication early enough to avoid worse effects.

Reference List

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th edition, text revised. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. Beck, T. A.

, & Alford B.A. (2009). Depression: Causes and Treatment. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press Dhossche, M.

D. (2006). Catatonia in Autism Spectrum Disorders. San Diego: Academic Press Gelder, M.

G., Mayou, R., & Geddes, J. (2005). Psychiatry.

3rd ed. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press Martin, A., Volkar, A.F and Lewis, M. (2007).

Lewis’s child and adolescent psychiatry: a comprehensive textbook. 4th ed. New York: Williams & Wilkins publishers.


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