Psychotic Depression – Symptoms and Treatment

Psychotic depressionPsychotic depression is a severe form of depression with which there are psychosis episodes. Psychosis is hallucinations, delusions or any other form of inability to precept the reality. Psychotic depression is in every 4th patient hospitalized with major depression.

What is the difference between psychotic depression and major depression?

In addition to such symptoms of clinical depression like feeling of helplessness, uselessness and despair, psychotic depression has also psychosis. A patient diagnosed with psychotic disorder has hallucinations (hears or sees inexistent things or sounds) and delusions (irrational thoughts or baseless fear).

A person suffering from psychosis loses the ability to perceive the real world. These kinds of patients hear voices. They have weird and illogical ideas. For example, they may think that other people read their minds and want to hurt them. They consider themselves the president of the country or any other famous person.

These patients may get angry without any particular reason. They spend a lot of their time alone or in bed, nonetheless they sleep all day long and they’re awake during nighttime. They don’t pay attention to their appearance; they don’t wash themselves and don’t change their clothes. It is impossible to have a conversation with them, as they’re not able to express their thoughts clearly and they talk nonsense.

For example, the schizophrenic persons also have psychosis. But the people, who have the psychotic disorder, in most of the cases, understand that what they say is not plausible. Because of this they feel ashamed and try to hide their thoughts. This kind of behavior complicates the process of diagnosing this kind of depression.

On time diagnosis is very important for the recovery process. A psychotic depression episode increases the risk of appearance of the bipolar disorder and at the same time of the repeated psychotic depression episode, mania and even of committing suicide.

What are the symptoms of psychotic depression?

  • Increased irritability
  • Increased anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Hypochondria, being suspicious about everything
  • Insomnia
  • Intellectual disability
  •  Physical immobility
  • Psychosis

How psychotic depression is treated?

Usually the patient is hospitalized and in the hospital the right treatment is prescribed. The patient is constantly under the doctor’s surveillance. There are prescribed medicines for stabilizing the mood, including antidepressants and antipsychotic medication.

The Antipsychotic medication influences the neurotransmitters which assures the interconnection between nerve cells. Nowadays there is a lot of medication from this group; the most common among them is Risperidone, Olanzapine, Quetiapine and Ziprasidone. Each of these medicines has its own adverse effects. It is believed that these drugs are perceived by the body more easily than their predecessors.

Does the treatment always give an effective result?

The treatment for psychotic depression is effective. After a year the patients get better. Nonetheless it is recommended to further take the drugs to avoid future recurrences. If the patient does not improve, then it is used electric shock therapy as an alternative method of treatment. In the process of selecting effective medications with fewer side effects, the collaboration between the patient and the doctor is essential. Since psychotic depression is a complex disease, the risk of suicide is also high.