Pin Me

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Psychotic Depression?

written by: Malka M. Feast • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 8/8/2010

Are you severely depressed and hearing voices that are telling you to harm yourself? You may be suffering from psychotic depression. This illness can have fatal consequences if left untreated.

  • slide 1 of 3

    What is Psychotic Depression?

    Of the numerous people who experience psychotic depression, many are oblivious to fact that they suffer from this illness. Psychotic depression is a severe form of depression with psychotic features. Reality is blurred by irrational thinking driving a person to adopt erratic behaviors.

  • slide 2 of 3

    The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Psychotic Depression

    • Paranoia - This comes with feelings of being watched closely or scrutinized by others. In addition the person feels that someone or something may cause them harm. Life appears to be spiraling out of control and the sufferer doesn't believe they possess the resources to get a firm grasp on the situation.
    • Delusions - They are mostly caused by guilty feelings within the individual. Reality is quickly replaced by falsehoods of impossible occurrences which the person begins to believe to be true. Delusions are the birthplace for erratic behavior.
    • Hallucinations - They come in the form of audio and visual. They start with voices in the mind that tell the person they are worthless and don't deserve to live. As time goes on, the voices can amplify making it harder for the person to cope. Visual hallucinations start with shadowy features that aren't there, but may then take the form of someone or something perceived to be evil.
    • Suicidal - These thoughts stem from the previous symptoms. The person begins to feel that this is the only door open to go through because the delusions and hallucinations have justified this route.
    • Feeling of Worthlessness - The person will believe that he or she has hit rock bottom. No one around him or her understands what is going on within their mind, so they feel they are facing the circumstances alone. Flaws within oneself are highlighted and seem to block out the good aspects of that person.
    • Difficulty Sleeping - The mind is racing faster than the body causing the person to remain awake at night.
    • Constant Awakening During the Night - This can occur because the horrific thoughts that are present during the day have spilled over into a person's dreams creating nightmares and troubled sleep patterns.
    • Constipation; Gastrointestinal problems - Due to the lack of proper diet, upset stomach occurs making it hard to eat or keep food down.
    • Impairment of the Intellect - Normal routine becomes interrupted due to the inability to focus. The problems the person is plagued with have become the center of their life. He or she cannot decipher what's real from what is unreal.
    • Long Periods of Immobility - Normal activities have come to a halt because of the lost of interest in them. The person may lie in bed all day and become isolated.
    • Mental Anguish - The mind has had a system overload from all of the irrational thoughts; voices and trying to hang on to reality. This is the initial phase of a nervous breakdown.
    • Severe Depression - Uncontrollable crying spells occur. The person begins not to care about their health, hygiene or daily tasks.
  • slide 3 of 3

    Outcome if Psychotic Depression is Untreated

    Committing suicide is often the ultimate outcome if psychotic depression is left untreated. A person may feel so overwhelmed by the agonizing symptoms that he or she selects suicide as an escape route.

    In that person's mind, the individual believes that no one understands what they are facing each day. If you suspect that someone you know is a possible candidate of psychotic depression, tread with caution and get him or her the help that is desperately needed.