There are many different types of depression and psychotic depression, also referred to as psychotic major depression (PMD).
This type of depression is very unique and, important to note, also one of the most severe. This disorder is estimated to affect just 0.4% (yes, point 4% of the total population and 25% of those affected are usually hospitalized. Also, it is estimated that people with PMD average about 4 - 10 episodes - and each episode can last up to 24 months.
This type is commonly mistakenly diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia. This is because all 3 of them include 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 history of the symptoms. What symptoms have presented themselves? How long have they been going on? How severe have they been?
If you, or someone you know, is potentially 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 compared 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, it's important to note that, since symptoms are similar to schizophrenia and, in some cases, bipolar, it can be improperly diagnosed.
Other symptoms of this type include the following:
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.
You can learn more about psychotic depression on WebMD as well.
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