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Psychotic Depression Overview
Psychotic depression is characterized by having symptoms of two conditions, namely, psychosis and depression. This condition is frequently a challenge to manage because of its many varied signs and symptoms. In the United States, it is estimated that 1 out of every 4 people who show symptoms of depression may have psychotic depression.
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Signs and Symptoms of Psychotic Depression
One of the most noticeable symptoms of depression is an intense sadness that persists for half a month or more. Typically an average person may feel sad from time to time, but the feeling will usually go away after a few days. Long periods of intense sadness are often abnormal.
Other common signs of depression include loss of interest in the things a person is usually passionate about, and avoiding social situations like having dinner with friends and family. The depressed person may also have thoughts of being worthless, hopeless and helpless. Persistence of these thoughts can frequently lead a person to think of suicide.
Aside from these, Individuals with psychotic depression, also manifest with signs and symptoms of psychosis, such as having hallucinations and delusions. Most patients with hallucinations may hear, see, and taste things which other individuals cannot. Some may claim that the voices in their head are saying something to them and they may see patterns, lights or objects which other people cannot see.
Others may complain that something is crawling on their skin. Delusion is believing in something that is not real. When a person gets delusional, he or she may have illogical ideas and fears and think they are a famous personality or someone with significant influence in society. Paranoia may also be seen in a delusional person. This is when a person believes that someone is out to kill him, or that other people are capable of knowing what he is thinking about.
The difference between patients with psychotic depression and those with other types of mental disorders is that most patients with psychotic depression are usually aware of their thoughts being untrue. This may cause them to hide what they're experiencing due to embarrassment or shame which can make diagnosing and treating them difficult.
Other common signs and symptoms of psychotic depression that may be observed in a patient include agitation, constipation, insomnia and anxiety. The ability to think logically is often affected or impaired. There are also patients showing symptoms of hypochondria. Hypochondria is a condition where patients obsessively fear that they will develop an illness, or believe they are suffering from a severe illness, even if medical examinations reveal otherwise. They may also continue to have these beliefs despite reassurances of good health from physicians.