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The word psychosis means abnormal condition of the mind. Psychotic depression is therefore when when a severe depressive illness is combined an unbalanced mindset.
The psychosis aspect of psychotic depression will typically involve hallucinations or significant delusions. It causes the individual to lose touch with reality. You are unable to differentiate between what is in your magination and what is happening in the real world.
The symptoms of psychotic depression include those associated with normal depression such as feelings or hopelessness and worthlessness. But these symptoms will be combined with the aforementioned hallucinations or irrational thoughts and fears. It is also common for people suffering from psychotic depression to hear voices.
Other possible symptoms of psychotic depression include agitation, hypochondria, and insomnia. Sufferers are unlikely to be able to focus or concentrate on their daily activities.
Psychotic depression will be predominately treated with drugs, although other therapies such as electro convulsive therapy (ECT) may be used. Medication will often include both antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs to improve the patients mood and address their psychotic symptoms.
Antipsychotic medication works by targeting the neurotransmitters that control communication between nerve cells. Commonly used antipsychotic drugs include olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone.
People suffering from psychotic depression can be a danger to themselves and to others. For this reason, treatment will usually be given in a hospital setting. One in four people who are admitted to hospital for depression will be suffering from psychotic depression.
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