Psychotic Depression: Definition, Symptoms, and Treatments
In the United States, there are over 25 percent people who suffer from psychotic depression. However, because it tends to mimic other types of medical conditions, including depression subtypes, and because some patients remain quiet about it, it is hard to diagnose.
What is psychotic depression?
Psychotic depression is a subtype of depression. It is characterized by the common signs and symptoms, along with episodes of hallucinations or delusions. A sufferer may hear or see things.
It is different from schizophrenia since the person with psychotic depression is very much aware that what he or she has is delusion or hallucination. It is completely untrue. It is also not bipolar depression, which is described as exhibiting extreme episodes of mania and depression. The person often experiences too much happiness or euphoria to the point of exaggerating certain perceptions.
What causes psychotic depression?
There are a lot of causes for depression. It normally occurs when the sufferer goes through intense trauma, pain, and fear. Depression may also be because of the hormonal changes in the body. The alteration of the brain chemistry may cause a number of hormones or neurotransmitters to malfunction. These hormones include serotonin.
Though there is no definite cause for psychotic depression, a lot of studies point out that one of the main causes is cortisol. When the level of cortisol in the blood increases, it can have a profound effect on the brain and may lead to delusion or hallucination.
Who are prone to psychotic depression?
Usually if you have a family member who is suffering from the medical illness, there is a huge chance you will also acquire it. However, there are a lot of men and women who do not.
What are the common symptoms of the illness?
If you are suffering from psychotic depression, you exhibit the common signs and symptoms of general depression. You are sad at all times, you are irritable or moody, you develop the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, and you experience changes in your eating and sleeping habits.
Besides these, you develop a very high level of anxiety or agitation. You also become hypochondriac. It is a mental disorder characterized by worry or preoccupation over illnesses. Every body change and ache may mean a serious medical condition such as cancer. You may also experience physical immobility and lack of concentration. Most of all, you will hallucinate.
How do you treat psychotic depression?
Treatments for psychotic depression are a combination of medications and therapies. The patient may be required to consume antidepressants and lithium, especially for those who have bipolar disorder.
You can also effectively deal with the symptoms of the mental disorder through natural means. One of these is through the use of affirmations or subliminal messages. Every day you can remind yourself that “There is nothing to be afraid of” and “It is all in the mind.”
It is also essential you can keep yourself healthy and fit. Avoid stress as much as possible. Too much stress causes excessive production of cortisol.