Lorazepam, fluoxetine and packing therapy in an adolescent with pervasive developmental disorder and catatonia

Angèle Consoli, Charles Gheorghiev, Claire Jutard, Nicolas Bodeau, Anja Kloeckner, Victor Pitron, David Cohen, Olivier Bonnot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Packing therapy is an adjunct symptomatic treatment used for autism and/or catatonia. Here, we report the case of a 15-year-old boy with pervasive developmental disorder who developed catatonia. At admission, catatonic symptoms were severe and the patient required a feeding tube. Lorazepam up to 15 mg/day moderately improved the catatonic symptoms. On day 36 we added fluoxetine and on day 62 we added packing therapy (twice per week, 10 sessions). After three packing sessions, the patient showed a significant clinical improvement (P< 0.001). At discharge (day 96), he was able to return to his special education program. Although we do not consider packing as a psychodynamic treatment, this case challenges the concept of embodied self that has opened new perspectives on a dialogue between psychoanalysis and neuroscience. Indeed, better body representation following packing sessions, as shown in patient's drawing, paralleled clinical improvement, and supports the concept of embodied self. This concept may serve as a link between psychoanalysis and attachment theory, developmental psychology with the early description of "sense of self", and cognitive neurosciences that more and more support the concept of embodied cognition. Further clinical studies are necessary to clarify the efficacy and underlying mechanism of packing treatment and to understand how patient's experience may illustrate the concept of embodied self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-314
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physiology Paris
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Autism
  • Catatonia
  • Packing
  • Sensory integration


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