What Causes Psychotic Depression?

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Psychotic depression can be a debilitating and dangerous mental condition when misunderstood, undiagnosed and left untreated. There are measures that can be taken to prevent psychotic depression.

What is Psychotic Depression?

  • Psychotic depression is mental illness that is a combination of depression and psychosis. The condition is also referred to as delusional depression or depression with irrational rage.

Symptoms of Psychotic Depression

  • Psychotic depression includes the symptoms of depression including fatigue, sadness, despair, lethargy, agitation, paranoia, irrational fears, disproportionate rage, and the inability to decipher reality due to psychosis.

Risk Factors for Psychiatric Depression

  • Risk factors include having biological relatives who have depression or psychosis, problems with the neurotransmitters or glands in the brain, hormonal imbalances, and lack of coping skills for tragedy, life stresses, adversity, and trauma. Also people with certain personality traits including narcissism, selfishness, excessive fears, low self esteem, lack of empathy, impulsiveness, and substance abuse.

Expert Insight on Substance Abuse and Psychosis

  • In July 2007, the Lancet, a respected British medical journal, published a study funded by the British Health Department stating, "People who used marijuana had roughly a 40 percent higher chance of developing a psychotic disorder later in life."

Prevention of Psychotic Depression

  • Educating the general public and children that using substances which alter neurotransmitters in the brain including marijuana, cigarettes, alcohol, and other illegal drugs can result in psychotic illnesses including psychotic depression.

    Dr. Robin Murray of King's College explains, "Experts are now agreed on the connection between cannabis and psychosis. What we need now is for
    14‐year‐olds to know it."

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