Do catatonia and ME/CFS have pathophysiological similarities?


Senior Member
@hmnr asg kudos and credit to you for bringing up this interesting theory and info, I thought it worthy of a thread! I searched PR and only found a few mentions of catatonia and ME over the years, so definitely good to have a dedicated thread on it.

I had no idea of the theory that catatonia and ME/CFS might share pathophysiological features. Catatonia is not always caused by psychiatric disorders, there are neurobiological and immune causes too.

Drugs like lorazepam and aripiprazole can be effective in treating catatonia. In fact, a lorazepam challenge is used as a diagnostic tool for the condition. It might just be a coincidence, but as many of you know, there is anecdotal evidence that lorazepam and aripiprazole seem to improve ME symptoms in many people, even in very severe cases.

Here’s a Twitter thread discussing the possible similarities and a Lancet review on catatonia and the immune system.

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The Netherlands
My brother is hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital due to psychosis. He developed catatonia, IV lorazepam gets him out of catatonia I heard as of late. In the past he told me that he thought he suffered from brain inflammation and insomnia plagued him. He was diagnosed with POIS as well but not CFS. I was diagnosed with CFS, something is runnning in the family. His IL-8 is elevated somewhat.