The German psychiatrist Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum first described Catatonia in a lecture in 1868 according to this paper. Kahlbaum later wrote up his description of Catatonia in 1874 in ‘Die Katatonie oder das Spannungsirresein. Eine klinische Form psychischer Krankheit’. Interested readers can find a copy of this book in various formats at the Internet Archive in the ‘Medical Heritage Library’.
While Kahlbaum recognised Catatonia in association with many psychiatric and medical illnesses, it was Kraeplin who later took Catatonia and subsumed it under Dementia Praecox which later became Schizophrenia. The rest is history.
However there are many papers in the research literature that show Catatonia in association with medical as well as mental illnesses. Just as Kahlbaum originally reported.
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