Donald F. Klein, Max Fink, Edward Shorter and Thomas A. Ban: Comment exchange on Flagrant Catatonic Behavior
Max Fink’s reply to Carlos Hojaij’s comment


            All literature before the 1980s on Catatonia is filled with trial and error learning.  The Kahlbaum syndrome of 1874 became reified in 1980s to the present.  The story is written by Edward Shorter and myself as The Madness of Fear: A History of Catatonia (Oxford University Press) that will be available at APA in May in NYC.  The story traces the successful recognition of the syndrome from 1870s, the ways to verify the diagnosis and the effective treatments of high doses of benzodiazepines or barbiturates and ECT! In multiple hospital surveys the numbers of identifiable and treatable catatonics varies from 7% to 20% in medical, neurology, emergency room and psychiatry units.

            The present status of catatonia is akin to that of neurosyphilis -- identifiable, verifiable and treatable. 

            All early catatonia history is art and imagery, not medical science!


July 5, 2018