All of us sometime or other get drowned into excessive hopelessness, sadness, and depression in life. Depression is a global phenomenon. In everyday life the word depression is used so often that common people do not consider it as a disorder. It may be a feeling after the death of someone.
However, from medical point of view, the feeling of sadness or depression is different from depressive disorder. Clinically, a psychologist labels a person depressed when there are other symptoms besides feeling of sadness. These symptoms may include decline in physical strength, thinking ability, appetite, sleep etc.
Agitated depression is something that is different from normal depression. It’s a disorder where the person is at its extreme of feeling irritable, angry, disturbed and agitated. For this reason agitated depression has been given a separate entity and is not grouped under various other depressive illnesses. Agitated depression is a unipolar depression that can be divided into two phases psychotic and non psychotic.
In the psychotic form, the patient has manic tendency. He is overexcited, talkative, irritable, and frequently hyperactive. They have low frustration tolerance, which may cause anger and hostility. They are emotionally labile, and switch within minutes from laughter to irritability to depressed state.They get illusions and hallucinations of different things. In non psychotic form the illusion and hallucination is absent. Agitated depression is more common in older people. It is correlated to low socioeconomic status, concurrent physical illness, loss of spouse, and isolation.
Causes Of Agitated Depression
The exact reason for development of agitated depression is not known, but certain contributing factors may be responsible for it. If the patient has developed mood disorder both unipolar or bipolar or manic form, he becomes susceptible to develop agitated depression.
- Any change in life events such as a death of family member, divorce, miscarriage, loss of job, monetary loss etc can be a trigger.
- Abuse, chronic illness, or imbalance of brain chemicals can also be a triggering factor in development of agitated depression.
- There is a pronounced family history in background. Meaning someone in the family may be suffering from depression and other mood disorders.
Symptoms Of Agitated Depression
In an agitated depressed person there is a feeling of hopelessness.
They become agitated and angry even with minor problems which a normal person is able to resolve it with patience and comfort. They easily become frustrated for irrelevant reasons. And this may precipitate into anger and hostility.
Such patients are known to repeatedly squeeze and twist their wrist involuntarily and forcefully when they are idle. They are restless all the time and move about from one corner to another in the room. They are unaware of people watching them and peoples reaction to such behavior.
These patients cannot be interrupted while they are speaking. They are often intrusive nuisances to those around them. Their speech is often disturbed. It becomes more louder, more rapid and difficult to interpret.
They also have suicidal ideation. Patients suffering from this disorder have increased risk of suicidal tendency they regain the energy needed to plan and carry out suicide. This happens as these patients are unable to define their problem. As a result the problems pile up and reach to an extreme leading to mental stress and strain which may result in suicidal behavior of that person.
How To Treat Agitated Depression?
A combination of psychotherapy and medicines is the most effective treatment for agitated depression. The medicines found to be effective are called mood stabilizers. As the disease has long course with relapses in between, the medicines prescribed by the physician has to be taken for long duration.
Patient also requires psychosocial therapy where the patient is made aware to recognize the stressors in his life and how to control them. This therapy is beneficial in most cases. Also making changes in lifestyle of patient may prove beneficial. He should be made to understand the value of exercise for his overall health.
Also balanced intake of food and following a sound sleep regimen both may help the patient to cope with his problem as well as his overall physique.