Psychotic Depression: what is it and what are the symptoms,signs and treatment?

Psychotic Depression is a mental health problems in which the patient may cause symptoms of hallucinations or delusions. It involves symptoms of psychosis during an episode of depression.

It is estimated that about 3% to 12% of all people will experience severe depression during their lifetime.

Psychotic Depression affects roughly one out of every four people admitted to the hospital for depression.

In this case, the patient may have:-

1) Delusion

2) Hallucinations

3) a state of stupor

4) psychomotor impairment

It can affect the mood, behaviour, everyday life and physical health.

Psychotic depression is often considered a psychiatric emergency because the patient is at increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour.


1) lack of interest and pleasure in all activities

2) a persistent low,sad, empty or hopeless mood

3) loss of appetite

4) sleeping difficulties

Sleeping difficulties

5) fatigue

6) difficulty in concentration

7) feeling of guilty

8) frequently feeling of worthlessness

9) suicidal thoughts

Psychotic Depression is always serious mental illness.

People with psychotic depression may spend a lot of time by themselves or in bed, sleeping during the day and staying awake in the night. A person with psychotic depression may neglect appearance by not bathing or changing clothes or that person may be hard to talk to.

Psychotic hallucinations and delusions might involve:-

a) believing that having a serious health problems

b) believing that having a unique power

c) believing that becoming an important person

d) hearing unwanted voices

e) paranoia or extreme suspicion of other people

Delusions and hallucinations often feel completely real. They can lead to distress,panic and tremor.

There is not exact cause of psychotic disorder. Researchers have yet to find oy if the actual cause of psychotic depression.

There are some possible cause for psychotic disorder are:-

1) Genetic

2) Environmental factors

3) Traumatic or stressful experience


Being diagnosed with psychotic depression, the patient may have five or more of the following symptoms:-

A) agitation

B) Loss of appetite

C) Depressed mood

D) Difficulty in concentration

E) Insomnia

F) A lack of interest in all activities

G) Low energy level

H) Suicidal thoughts

I) Feeling of guilty

Risk factors

1) Not having close friends

2) a family history of any mental health problems

3) a major negative life events in the past year

4) surviving extreme stress or trauma

5) living with chronic pain or chronic health problems

6) financial difficulties

7) age( older adults have a higher risk)

8) a family history of bipolar disorder with psychosis, schizophrenia or major depressive disorder with psychosis


The diagnosis and treatment usually involves a medical history.

1) Medications – if the patient experiences both depression and psychosis,then antidepressants, antipsychotic medicine can be given.

2) Electroconvulsive therapy – it can be used in severe depression condition.

3) Cognitive behavioral therapy – it is also used for depressive patients.

Psychotic depression can be frightening.

Dr S.k.jha


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