What Is Depression With Psychosis? 10 Things To Know

Reviewed by Laura Angers, LPC

Published 12/31/2020

When it comes to psychosis, there are multiple types that a person may experience, including depressive psychosis or Depression with psychosis. This is a type of Depression that can greatly affect a person’s life. Read this article for more information on Depression with psychosis, including ten things you need to know about this condition.

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What Is Depression? 

Depression is a mood disorder in which someone may feel like they cannot get any joy out of life and that their life has no purpose. If you are experiencing Depression, there are treatments available to help this illness have less impact on your life. Depression by itself is fine, but when it impacts how you act and feel and doesn’t improve over time, it may require treatment.

What Is Psychosis?

Psychosis occurs when a person has an altered idea of reality. This condition may cause someone to hallucinate, usually in the form of hearing or seeing things that are not there, and delusions, which means believing things that are not based in fact. A person experiencing delusion may feel like people are talking about them, even when they are not.

What Is A Psychotic Break?

A psychotic break generally refers to a period when someone is experiencing psychosis. An article on the NAMI website explains that a psychotic break is sometimes not a sudden moment but instead happens over time. Also, warning signs may be present to indicate that psychosis might occur.

Causes Of Psychotic Depression

There are a few possible causes that might lead to psychotic Depression. One is a genetic factor. Like with many other conditions, if there is someone in your family with this type of Depression, you may experience it. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee that you will experience it.

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Large amounts of stress or stress that doesn’t go away may contribute to psychotic Depression too. If you experience stress and have a hard time dealing with it, you may need to take advantage of therapy. This can help you learn techniques to lessen stress in your life.

Changes in hormones or a hormonal imbalance may also be the cause of this type of Depression.

Things To Know About Depression With Psychosis

Essentially, Depression with psychosis occurs when a person experiences depression with psychotic features. Here are other things you should be aware of concerning this ailment.

  1. There are different types of Depression where psychosis may be present. When a person is experiencing this type of Depression, they will likely have symptoms of Depression and be experiencing hallucinations and delusions. One type of Depression that can be present when psychotic symptoms are expressed is a major Depression.
  2. Numerous symptoms are associated with psychotic Depression. Some of the common symptoms to look out for are unexplained weight changes, avoiding social situations, feeling like there’s no hope, feeling no joy, changes in sleep patterns, inability to think clearly, and inability to manage moods. Someone may also have anxiety symptoms, which are common when it comes to Depression. Furthermore, a person with a psychotic Depression may experience thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineat 1-800-273-8255.
  3. Psychotic Depression may lead to an Existential Crisis. An existential crisis happens when a person wonders if their life has meaning. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be an issue if someone is also experiencing Depression. If you feel like your life doesn’t have meaning, reach out for mental health help as soon as possible.
  4. Psychosis can be a symptom of other conditions as well. Psychosis is serious on its own, but it is also thought to be a symptom of other conditions. One notable condition is schizophrenia, which is a long-lasting mental condition.

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  • There are multiple treatment options when it comes to psychotic Depression. As the Schizophrenia Bulletinstates, there is no definitive treatment to treat both of these issues together. Instead, these two issues need to be treated separately, and in some cases, with two different types of medicines. There are many medicines that a doctor may determine are right for your treatment. Therapy is something that is often recommended as well, in the form of psychotherapy. This type of therapy offers a one-on-one experience with a therapist, where you may be able to learn how to process your thoughts differently and other helpful lessons.
  • There are other options you can take advantage of during treatment. You may opt to join a support group when you are in treatment. If you experienced a problem with substance abuse or alcohol in the past, you might consider Smart Recovery or Alcoholic Anonymous. Attending AA meetings may offer you further care. If you are curious, ask your doctor about these options or other support groups that may be available in your area.
  • Treatment for Psychotic Depression is effective. Even though there isn’t a cure for depression or psychosis, this condition is treatable. When you get the support you need quickly after you note symptoms related to it, you may be able to see a reduction in your symptoms. The goal is for psychotic Depression to have less of an impact on your life and your routine. This is a goal that you can meet when you listen to your doctor and take your medicines as you should.
  • Treatment works quickly for some. In some cases, with the proper treatment, you may be able to see your symptoms become less severe in just a few weeks. Keep in mind that it can take a while for medicines to start to work properly. Always talk to your doctor if you have an issue with a medication that you are taking. Side effects are sometimes present, and if they are for you, this should be addressed quickly by your mental health professional. You should also take the time to do all the things that the doctor tells you to. Take advantage of your entire treatment plan and keep at it. Results may come quicker than you think, so you can start enjoying things you used to enjoy again.
  • Even when symptoms are less severe, therapy can help. Medicines are often prescribed to relieve many of the symptoms associated with psychotic depression, but they may not fully deal with some of the underlying reasons you experience Depression. This is why you can continue to go to therapy to work through any issues that are present and learn to deal with these things if they come up again. For instance, a therapist can help you work through stress, anxiety, and past trauma.
  • Try at-home remedies as well. There are a few things that you can do at home when you are in treatment for psychotic depression. Do what you can to take care of your hygiene, including keeping yourself clean. Moreover, you should try your best to get the proper amount of sleep each night and eat a balanced diet. These things may help to stabilize your mood and are good for your body.

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If you suspect that you may be experiencing psychosis, you can take this psychosis test to find more information.

When To See A Doctor

You can take a depression assessment, which will tell you definitively if you have Depression, so when you are experiencing symptoms related to depression and psychosis, you should visit a doctor. They will be able to examine you and talk to you about what is going on, helping them determine if you have Depression. If you do, you can also talk about treatment options right away, so you will be closer to seeing your symptoms improve.

Outlook

If you are experiencing psychotic Depression or Depression with psychosis, this requires treatment, and you should seek treatment as soon as you can. Psychosis causes someone to have an altered view of reality, so this needs to be alleviated quickly. At the same time, a person that is experiencing psychosis may not know they need help.

If someone you care about is experiencing psychotic Depression, you should continue to be as supportive as possible, even if they don’t seek treatment. If they threaten to hurt themselves or others, be sure to call emergency services or 911 to get them the help they need. It may also be a good idea to find out as much about Depression and psychosis as you can so you can see the warning signs.

Remember that Depression with psychosis is treatable, and many people see a benefit from medicines and therapy. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out.