Movement disorders are common. That is especially true for psychiatric patients. On the premises of a psychiatric hospital, you can see that a movement disorder is more the rule than the exception:

  • A young man who walks bent with small steps and hardly shows any facial expression.
  • An older woman who makes constant chewing movements and sometimes even sticks out her tongue.
  • An older man who trembles both with his hands and his head and seems ashamed of it.
  • Or that young boy who is queuing up at the cash register and constantly pacing on the place.
  • And that middle-aged man whose head is tilted to the right.

These descriptions are about patients with successive parkinsonism, tardive dyskinesia, tremor, akathisia and tardive dystonia.

Movement disorders appear as a symptom in a psychiatric disorder, as a side effect of drugs, as psychogenic movement disorders and as neurological or other somatic diseases.

As a symptom of psychiatric diseases, you can think of stereotypes in, for example, autism, catatonia in severe depression, or bradykinesia in depression.

Movement disorders caused by drugs are described above and are very common. Psychogenic movement disorders are part of conversion disorders and are also called functional disorders.

This website provides information about the movement disorders related to a psychiatric disorder or to the medications with which the psychiatric disorder is treated. The information is aimed at practitioners inside and outside mental health care.

Movement disorders such as primary neurological disorders, or Parkinson’s disease, are not discussed. In addition to movement disorders, these neurological diseases often have all kinds of psychiatric symptoms.

Within the movement disorders, neurology and psychiatry are strongly linked.