Psychotic Depression – Effective ways to Overcome it

Psychotic Depression

When a person is experiencing some psychotic features along with the depression problem is considered as Psychotic Depression. When your Mental health condition gets severe, there are chances that you may experience some form of psychosis in your daily routine. It is not easy for you to manage your depression problem if it includes psychotic features and you need immediate medical attention and doctors will keep you in observation for several days or until your condition gets better.

Psychotic depression is also called as Major depressive disorder with psychotic features. People should consider this as a serious condition and consult their physician as soon as possible. If you don’t take it as a serious problem, then it shows its effects in many areas of your life. Psychotic depression will influence your mood, behavior, and also on your physical functions including

  • Appetite
  • Sleep

It has been observed that twenty percent of the people who are suffering from major depression also experiencing some of the symptoms of psychosis. Medical experts called this combination as Psychotic depression. This combination makes people see, hear, or believe things that aren’t real.

Delusional Depression

Major depressive disorder with mood-incongruent psychotic features, Major depressive disorder with mood-congruent psychotic features, and psychotic depression are the other names for this condition. You will experience both the symptoms of depression and psychotic depression in this phase. People should consider this as a real problem and if you don’t take treatment at the right time, you may get suicidal thoughts due to delusions.

Even doctors are finding it difficult to diagnose this condition. It is not an easy task for your physician to diagnose psychotic depression when you are also suffering from a major depressive disorder. In the United States, one of the most common Mental Health Condition is Major Depression. Due to this reason, people assume their psychotic depression is also a Major depressive disorder. It’s better to consult your physician as soon as you are experiencing the symptoms of psychotic depression such as delusions, or hallucinations.

Indicators of Psychotic Depression

It will be difficult for you to find out whether you are suffering from depression or psychotic depression or depression with psychosis. Following are the symptoms of Psychotic Depression which will help you to decide which type of mental health condition you are suffering from:

  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Nervousness
  • Getting difficulty in sleeping
  • Physical immobility
  • Constipation
  • Hypochondria
  • Intellectual impairment

Symptoms of Psychotic Depression

  • Always talking about committing suicide
  • Tiredness
  • Impatience
  • Unable to concentrate on the things
  • Abrupt changes in your weight
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Getting difficulty in sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Unable to enjoy your favorite hobbies once you have enjoyed it previously
  • Social isolation
  • Degrading yourself

In simple terms, when a person is suffering from psychotic depression, he or she may lose contact with reality. They don’t live in the present and delusions may cause them to believe in false things. For instance, they are not suffering from any chronic diseases but they will start thinking like they may have diagnosed with a chronic condition and it is due to they develop false beliefs about their own health.

Exact Cause of Psychotic Depression

People with a family history who are already suffered from this condition may have chances of getting diagnosed with this condition. But the real cause is still unknown to the medical experts. This condition may occur in a person who is already suffering from other psychiatric conditions.

It has been observed by the researchers that a combination of genes and stress may contribute to this psychiatric condition by affecting the production of several chemicals in the brain. Sudden changes in your hormones in the body may also have chances of getting diagnosed with this mental disorder. Researchers are still finding to know the real cause behind this psychiatric condition.

How to Diagnose this condition?

A physician may look for symptoms such as paranoia, delusions, hallucinations in order to diagnose psychotic depression in a person. If you are exhibiting the symptoms of psychotic depression, then your doctor may get confirmation regarding your problem. According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Psychotic depression is considered as one of the subtypes of major depressive disorder.

There are chances of misdiagnosing the problem due to a lack of recognition of the features of psychotic with major depression. In order to diagnose someone who has psychotic depression, that person has to be a licensed mental health professional. If you are suffering from other medical conditions, then your physician may conduct blood and urine tests in order to find out the other existing medical problems in your body. People who are suffering from other mental health diseases may also have chances of suffering from psychosis. People tend to experience feelings such as Hopelessness, failure due to the hallucinations, and delusions caused by the Psychotic depression. When your psychotic depression problem is associated with schizophrenia, you will experience bizarre themes and they are not at all related to your mood or state of mind.

Treatment of Psychotic Depression

Taking Antidepressant drugs and Antipsychotic medications are the best choice for people who are suffering from psychotic depression. SSRI’s are your physician’s first choice of drugs and they are considered as a first-line treatment for your problem. If you want to take antidepressant drugs on your own then we would advise you to have a word with your physician. Because antidepressant drugs take time to show its effects and it depends on the individual.

People are able to recover after completing the course and they may have to take some medications even after recovered from the psychotic depression. If the antidepressant drugs and antipsychotic drugs are failed to ease the symptoms of psychotic depression, then your health care provider may recommend you try Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

We would advise you to speak with your physician when you are experiencing any side effects during the course of treatment. If the treatment works well also you should have a word about it with your doctor. Almost, every drug you take in order to ease the symptoms of psychotic depression is associated with side effects and you should keep this mind and speak with your physician in order to find the most effective drugs with the least side effects.

Healthcare providers will recommend you to take a combination of antidepressant drugs and antipsychotic medications. These drugs will have a direct impact on the neurotransmitters in the brain and it will ultimately help you to deal with the psychotic depression effectively. Your physician may recommend you take a Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), like Prozac along with the following antipsychotics.

  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)

Drowsiness, short-term memory loss, dizziness, weight gain or weight loss, and getting difficulty sleeping are some of the side effects people usually experience during the treatment. In some cases, People may not find relief from antidepressant drugs and antipsychotic medications. In these cases, your physician may suggest you try electroshock therapy or electroconvulsive therapy in order to ease the symptoms of psychotic depression.

Electroconvulsive therapy

This will be your physician’s second choice of treatment if the medications didn’t show the desired results you want. This procedure is generally performed in an Emergency Care Center and you may need to stay in a hospital for one to two days. Your physician may put you to sleep by giving you general anesthesia.

This procedure is performed under the guidance of a psychiatrist. They will send controlled amounts of electrical currents to your brain. You will experience seizures due to its impact on the neurotransmitters in the brain. Short-term memory loss is the major side effect that is associated with this treatment. ECT is a Proven technique and it works well for the people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts caused by Psychotic Depression and it can ease the symptoms of Psychotic depression.

Your mental health physician will discuss the procedures with you and your family regarding the best treatment options that are available to treat your condition. You have to be very careful even after the treatment because relapse is possible. Due to this reason, your psychiatrist may prescribe you some antidepressant drugs or antidepressant medications even after your Electroconvulsive treatment.

Surviving with Psychotic Depression

It is not an easy task for an individual to deal with psychosis as people tend to experience distortions in their day-to-day life. Symptoms of psychotic depression may increase the risk of doing self-harm intentionally or accidentally. We would advise you to receive an appropriate course of action from the qualified healthcare provider. If you are recognized the symptoms of depression and receives the treatment for psychotic depression from a qualified health professional then it will result in decreasing the severeness of your problem. You are no longer need any emergency medical services if you don’t take more time for receiving treatment. You are putting yourself in danger if you take a long time for treatment.

It has been observed in a study that Eighty-Six percent of the people who are suffering from first-episode psychotic depression achieve syndrome recovery, and on the other hand, one study found that thirty-five percent of the people recovered from the mental illness functionally. As a matter of fact, forty-one percent of the people had their diagnosis changed to other mental health conditions like bipolar disorder or a schizoaffective disorder.

Speaking with your healthcare provider is the best way to cope if you are experiencing the indicators of major depressive disorder or you suspect that you may be experiencing the indicators of psychotic depression. It is not an easy task for you to survive with psychotic depression especially the severeness of the condition increases. After taking the treatment, we would advise you to stick with your doctor’s advice and never stop taking medications after your condition treated and stabilized.


Psychotic depression is a sub-type of major depressive disorder and can be frightening, and you don’t need to worry about your mental health condition. There are many effective treatments that are available to decrease the severeness of your problem and the prognosis for recovery is great with the right treatment.

With the correct treatment, and by following doctor’s advice you can ease the symptoms of Psychotic depression. you will ultimately get back to your normal routine after taking the treatment. You might need immediate medical attention if you are experiencing the symptoms of psychotic depression such as delusions or hallucinations. You have to spend your precious time in the hospital if your condition is not getting better.

Even mental health professionals also trying to find the most effective treatment for psychotic depression. They are mainly focusing on reducing the severeness of the symptoms of psychotic depression. At present, there are no treatments that are specifically designed to treat this mental health condition. Fortunately, Medications and Electroconvulsive therapy or electroshock therapy can help the person who is suffering from psychotic depression. with the help of medications and therapies, people can manage even the most severe symptoms of psychotic depression.

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