Writer's cramp: Not associated with anxiety

Authors

  • Dr. Richard C. Harrington,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, and Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital, London, England
    • Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, de Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, England
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  • Angelika Wieck,

    1. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, and Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital, London, England
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  • Isaac M. Marks,

    1. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, and Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital, London, England
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  • C. David Marsden

    1. University Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry, London, England
    2. King's College Hospital, London, England
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Abstract

Many authors have commented on an association between writer's cramp and anxiety and some view it as a form of anxiety disorder. This study describes 22 patients with writer's cramp who were recruited from a neurology clinic. Clinical examination found little evidence of generalized anxiety or of anxiety specific to the writing situation. Additionally, the subjects' scores on the Crown-Crisp Experiential Index, which contains several anxiety subscales, did not differ significantly from those of a matched normal control group. Writer's cramp differs from the anxiety disorders in two other respects: it has a later onset (mean in the 30s) and the male preponderance is much greater than in any anxiety disorder, even social phobia.

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