What is Psychotic Depression?

How is it Different?

As I've mentioned, there are many different types of depression and psychotic depression, also referred to as psychotic major depression (PMD), is a unique types and is one of the most severe. This disorder exists amongst just 0.4% of the total population and 25% of those hospitalized with a depressive disorder. Also, someone with PMD averages about 4 - 10 episodes and each episode can last up to 24 months.

This type is commonly mistaken or misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia. This is because all 3 of them have delusions. However, in PMD the delusions are coupled with a major depressive disorder whereas in the other types the delusions are usually by themselves.

They key to diagnosing the illness is to look at the track the illness has taken and not simply the symptoms that are being experienced.

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from PMD, they are likely to experience irrational thoughts or feelings that aren't true (delusions), extreme feelings of guilt, feelings that they are very special to others or the opposite - that they are being persecuted. In some cases they may experience hallucinations - experiencing things that aren't really there.

These symptoms are somewhat similar to those with schizophrenia. However, the main difference is that schizophrenics don't realize that this isn't reality. Conversely, those with a psychotic depression realize that their thoughts and experiences are irrational and not true. However, its important to note that, since it is so close to schizoprenia and, in some cases, bipolar, it can be improperly diagnosed.

Other symptoms of this type include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations (audible or visual)
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities nearly every day
  • Depressed mood almost every day
  • Feelings of agitation
  • High levels of anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • And, believe it or not, constipation!
  • There are many treatments for PMD including depression medications and electroconvulsive therapy, which has proven to be a more reliable, yet more expensive, depression treatment.

    Antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs have commonly been used but research is going on every day to find something that may be more successful.

    Other Pages to Consider:

    Learn about various types of depression.

    For something as serious as Pychotic Depressive Disorder you might want to consider looking into depression treatment centers

    Psychotic Depression to Depression Test Home Page

    Happy family after overcoming depression- Depression Test

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