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Psychomotor agitation involves purposeless motion that usually stems from mental tension of the individual. This could include pacing about a room in a specific path, the wringing of one's hands, pulling off clothing and putting it back on and similar actions.

"Motor agitation is rarer than motor retardation and is often occurs in the elderly. Over activity in this sense does not mean mania. The agitated state in major depressive disorder should not be confused with the manic episode that occurs in bipolar disorder, when mood is temporarily elevated by a transient sense of hope and elation. Psychomotor activities are the physical gestures that result from mental processes and are a product of the psyche. Many psychomotor behaviors associated with mental disorder affect impulses, cravings, instincts, and wishes."


Symptoms of psychomotor agitation include:

  • Incoherent conversation
  • Expansive gesturing
  • Pacing and hair twirling


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