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Last Updated on April 28, 2023

You may be familiar with a few of the symptoms of clinical depression — profoundly depressed mood, fatigue, and feelings of hopelessness. But do you realize that depression may also be linked to psychosis?

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines someone who is “psychotic” as out of touch with reality, likely experiencing false beliefs, known as delusions, or false sights or sounds, known as hallucinations. So when do depression and psychosis go hand in hand?

Psychotic Depression: What Is It?

“Psychotic depression is a comparatively rare condition occurring when someone shows both acute depression and a break with truth. The lack of contact with reality may take the form of delusions, hallucinations, or thought disorders,” explains James C. Overholser, PhD, professor of psychology and director of clinical training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Approximately 25 percent of people who have depression which is severe enough to cause them to be admitted to a hospital also have psychosis or psychotic depression. “Major depression with psychosis” is another term used to characterize the status of psychotic depression.

Psychotic Depression: Symptoms

Hallucinations or the delusions of people that have psychotic depression commonly require beliefs, voices, or visions telling them that they’re useless or bad. In some instances, individuals may hear voices telling them to hurt themselves. Along with these symptoms, psychotic depression could additionally cause the following:

  • Feeling persistently worried as well as on border
  • Falsely believing you have other illnesses or diseases
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Poor focus

Psychotic Depression: Getting a Diagnosis

See your physician straight away, if you or a beloved one has symptoms of psychotic depression. Your doctor will perform blood work and a medical examination to ensure your symptoms are not due to a clinical ailment or a reaction to drugs. A complete psychiatric assessment will likewise be done from other psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and to distinguish psychotic depression from other forms of depression.

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The reason for psychotic depression is not understood, but having a family history of psychosis or depression raises the hazard. One of the differences between psychotic depression and schizophrenia is the fact that individuals with schizophrenia consider their hallucinations or delusions are real. In most cases, people who have psychotic depression understand their symptoms usually are not real. They may actually be embarrassed or frightened to tell their physician about these symptoms, which could make the disorder that much more difficult to diagnose.

Psychotic Depression: Getting Treatment

Electroconvulsive therapy, or shock therapy, may likewise work in some cases.

A recent review of 10 studies involving over 500 patients concluded that it may be best to focus on an antidepressant drug and after that add an antipsychotic drug if needed. Utilizing an antipsychotic drug alone is just not suitable therapy. Treatment of psychotic depression is much more likely to necessitate hospitalization than other types of depression, and long-term drugs might be necessary.

If you have symptoms of depression together with hallucinations or delusions, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Because psychotic depression must be managed differently than other kinds of melancholy it is especially vital that you share the information on your symptoms together with your doctor. The most serious danger of psychotic depression is suicide getting appropriate treatment when possible is critical.

Psychotic depression is an illness, not a weakness or something to be ashamed of. It’s also a condition that is treatable, & most individuals recover within annually.

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