Psychotic depression is diagnosed in roughly 25% of all hospitalized patients who exhibit symptoms of general depression. Psychotic depression is different than general chronic depression and is apparent with symptoms of delusions and hallucinations. Psychotic depression is unlike schizophrenia because people who are experiencing this type of depression are usually aware that the psychotic episodes they experience are not real. Although patients who have this type of depression statistically run a greater risk of suicide if left untreated, they also have a greater chance of recovery than other types of depression.
It is not scientifically known exactly what precipitates the psychotic episodes in some people. It is suggested that there is a genetic link in developing this depression within families. There is one physical commonality, however, among those who develop this: It has been found that there are elevated levels of the hormone cortisol in patients who experience depression with psychosis. An interesting note is that cortisol is released during stressful or emotional times in a person's life that is experiencing depression which gives rise to the spiritual issues of stress, anger, anxiety and frustration. Click here for more information.
Many times depression can become a revolving door in relation to the cause and effect issues. Without proper management of personal issues, the chronic depression can be pronounced lasting for years on end. The cycle can continue, worsening as persistent depression drives a person into hopelessness and despair. Some depression develops into the psychotic type, and a person can even begin to hear voices and see things that are not there. Many people who suffer from this are aware that their hallucinations are not real, but the guilt, fear and shame they feel only compounds the depression.
There is much controversy about what kind of treatment or help any person should receive who is experiencing depression, regardless of the kinds of depression symptoms. Some forms of depression can be proven to be organic in origin and can be regulated or corrected by dealing with physical malfunctions of the brain. However, many forms of depression including the chronic variety are suggested to partly result from unresolved personal, spiritual issues. An overwhelming sense of loss, guilt, fear, frustration and emotional pain can directly affect issues of those who suffer from either kind of depression.
It has been stated by noted secular psychologist William Glasser, author of "Reality Therapy", that many of the people in psychiatric wards who experience psychotic depression today would be free from many of their psychiatric symptoms if they could only know they are forgiven. If secular psychology can recognize the intrinsic need for peace in the human soul, how much more are we exhorted through the Word of God to find peace through Jesus Christ Who offers peace to all who earnestly seek Him. Forgiveness, restoration, comfort and peace are available to all who call on the name of Jesus Christ, repent from their sins and accept Him by faith as Lord and Savior. Check out our Bible quiz.
There is not other way to receive freedom from guilt and shame as well as to find consolation and rest for the human spirit except through Jesus Christ. There has been much controversy regarding what is actually the right way to deal with issues of depression. The medical model has been applied to issues of both kinds of depression in many cases throughout the medical community as well as Christian therapy. It is true that there are complicated physical issues that can cause or exacerbate psychotic and chronic depression. However, the medical model may not always deal with issues that affect depression in a way that is compatible with a Biblical understanding of human nature.
Applying Scriptural solutions to issues of the human condition has always proved to offer healing to those who yield themselves to Christ. This is not to imply a simplistic answer to the complicated issues of depression that many people experience at one time or other throughout the course of a lifetime. But many times unresolved issues, traumatic events, poor choices and chaotic circumstances can eventually crash in on a person particularly around the age of 40.
Even though there are many cases of childhood chronic depression as well as in other age groups, statistics show that most cases of chronic or psychotic depression occur later in life. Many times a person who is experiencing the persistent depression may need help in resolving personal issues. There may be times when someone who is experiencing psychosis will need medical care and assistance in order to provide immediate stability and support. However, successfully dealing with either kind of depression will also require dealing with personal issues which many times are entwined with spiritual dilemmas.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of either the psychotic or chronic types, remember that it may take a multi-pronged approach to dealing with depression. It is always effective to rely on the Bible as the authority for resolution of personal issues and it is important to find a Christian professional who applies Biblical truths to life's problems. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." (Isaiah 26:3)