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)
Mental Illness TreatmentsMental illness treatments have enabled millions of person around the world to achieve earlier unthought-of of semblances of normal lives. In fact, in so many cases, a person would never know that the sufferer of a mental disorder would have ever been in the grip of such a dark and oppressive disease. Whether it is major depression, schizophrenia or any of a number of disorders including excessive-compulsive, bi-polar, panic, post traumatic stress or personality disorders, today there are amazing recovery stories that would have been unheard of even a few decades ago. Sadly, through the centuries those who today are leading normal or nearly normal lives would have been relegated to oppressive mental facilities and often forgotten by society. Today, we may work right alongside those who have been able to conquer those inner demons that would have driven others to suicide or into the woods to live a hermit's life in centuries past. Since it is estimated that by the year 2020 depressive illnesses will be the leading cause of diagnosed disability, finding effective neural illness treatments continues to be of primary concern to the health care profession.
It is for certain that the power of community is at the top of the list of essential elements in the ongoing battle to wrest someone from the grip of neural disease. The person who will successfully overcome one or more of these mental disorders will have to rely on agencies, family, friends and physician. The most powerful agent in this war the patient must wage is the support her she will receive from those surrounding them. Being left alone, sadly the practice of society in the past towards those fighting neural disorders would only snuff out the hope and encouragement a patient needs to find success. In most cases, a person in the war to get back a sense of mental normalcy will be directed to agencies that have recognized the power of community and have combined their resources to provide the support the patient needs for successful mental illness treatments.
A number of different health care professionals are available for help in the healing of mental disorders. A psychiatrist is a professional who has graduated from medical school with four or more years of advanced psychiatric training beyond medical school. This professional is able to conduct electro shock therapy as well as prescribe drugs for mental illness treatments. A psychologist may have a master's degree or doctoral degree and is trained to administer certain tests for psychological purposes but may not dispense drugs in most states and cannot perform physical exams. A psychiatric social worker may do some forms of psychotherapy and works with various social agencies to assist in a well rounded treatment program for the patient. This professional may not dispense drugs or perform physical exams. A psychoanalyst is a counselor trained in the practice of psychotherapy, an intensive form of counseling and this professional may not dispense drugs or perform physical exams.
There are many drug therapies that are used for various mental illness treatments, depending on the type of disorder being discussed. For example, there are certain serotonin reuptake inhibitors that are used for depression. New classes of anti-psychotic drugs are used for those who have schizophrenia. Anti anxiety drugs help to treat panic disorder and other phobias. And mood stabilizers are used to treat manic-depressive illnesses, also known as bipolar disorder. Those who have a strong spiritual base have been found to have a high success rate in overcoming mental disorders. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities and who healeth all thine diseases." (Psalm 103:2, 3)
One of the most misunderstood of all the mental illness treatments is that of electroconvulsive therapy, better known as electro shock therapy. The movies are filled with distortions of this therapy, but it is one of the most effective and safe treatments for severe depression that the medical community can offer. Though there is often a temporary memory loss for some patients who are subjected to this therapy, is very safe and rarely causes any other complications. With the use of sedatives and muscle relaxants, the negative reactions from past decades' use of this therapy has been removed. It is the prerogative of the psychiatrist to suggest the use of such mental illness treatments in some cases.
The counseling side of mental illness treatments is also an important component in the overall therapeutic program for those suffering with neural disorders. Psychotherapy and its many different forms is an important key element in the smorgasbord of mental illness treatments. Psychotherapy is what most people know from movies where the patient sits and talks to a counselor, thus it is known as talk therapy. There are many forms of it, including the patient lying on the sofa and talking to the therapist, which is called psychoanalysis. Cognitive or cognitive-behavioral therapy helps the patient to identify faulty ways of thinking that often manifest themselves in self destructive or dysfunctional ways. In the case of the one who requires neural illness treatments of various forms, the use of cognitive therapy can be quite helpful in equipping the patient to think in different thought patterns than the ones used in the past that were dysfunctional. In any case of psychotherapy, the trust between therapist and patient is extremely important, and may take a matter of weeks or months to develop.