Some people who have severe clinical depression will also experience hallucinations and delusional thinking, the symptoms of psychosis.
Depression with Puerperal psychosis is known as psychotic depression.
Someone with severe clinical depression feels sad and hopeless for most of the day, practically every day, and has no interest in anything. Getting through the day feels almost impossible.
Other typical symptoms of severe depression are:
Having moments of psychosis (psychotic episodes) means experiencing:
The delusions and hallucinations almost always reflect the person's deeply depressed mood for example, they may become convinced they're to blame for something, or that they've committed a crime.
"Psychomotor agitation" is also common. This means not being able to relax or sit still, and constantly fidgeting.
At the other extreme, a person with psychotic depression may have "psychomotor retardation", where both their thoughts and physical movements slow down.
People with psychotic depression have an increased risk of thinking about suicide.
The cause of psychotic depression isn't fully understood. It's known that there's no single cause of depression and it has many different triggers.
For some, stressful life events such as bereavement , divorce, serious illness or financial worries can be the cause.
Genes probably play a part, as severe depression can run in families, although it's not known whysome people also develop psychosis.
Many people with psychotic depression will have experienced adversity in childhood, such as a traumatic event.
People with psychosis are often unaware that they're thinking and acting strangely.
As a result of this lack of insight, it's often down to the person'sfriends, relatives or carers to seek help for them.
If you're concerned about someone and think they may have psychosis, you could contact their social worker or community mental health nurse if they've previously been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Contact the person's GP if this is the first time they've shown symptoms of psychosis .
If you think the person's symptoms are placing them or others at possible risk of harm you can:
The following websites provide further information and support:
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition.
Read about the symptoms of depression, which can be mild, moderate or severe. Symptoms can also be classed as psychological, physical and social.
Read about what causes depression. There's no single cause and many possible risk factors.
Find out how depression is diagnosed. Your GP will ask you lots of questions about your general health and how your feelings are affecting you mentally and physically.
Find out how depression is treated. Treatment depends on how severe your depression is, but usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies and medication.
Information and advice about coping with depression, including diet and exercise, talking therapy, dealing with bereavement and caring for someone who's depressed.
Read about psychotic depression, a severe form of depression where people experience the usual symptoms of depression, plus delusions and hallucinations.
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