Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2019; 8(1):(254-322)


Intractable hiccups (Singultus) of psychogenic origin—A case report

Javed Ather Siddiqui, Shazia Farheen Qureshi, Adel Allaithy, Talal Abdullah Mahfouz

Abstract

Hiccups are repeated involuntary, intermittent spasmodic contractions of the diaphragm and inspiratory intercostal muscles which results in sudden inspiration, followed by a sudden closure of the glottis. It is naturally benign, self-limited but maybe most of the time organic in nature and in some cases, chronic, debilitating, and psychogenic. Here, we report a case of a 16-year-old female student who developed hiccups of a psychogenic origin started by stress, which last up to 48 hours sometimes for a month and is successfully treated by antipsychotics haloperidol and psychological interventions. Physicians always face a diagnostic challenge, especially when no identifiable organic cause is elicited. However, such cases are invariably referred for psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

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