With so many types of depression around it can be quite hard to diagnose which type a person is suffering from without some trial and error and a great deal of evaluation. Some depression disorder symptoms are quite similar and can mimic one another. Others, like agitated depression, can cause very specific symptoms and are in a category all their own. One of these singular types is agitated depression, sometimes known as agitated major depression or mixed mania.
In most types of depression, the person feels lethargic, drained, wiped out. In agitated depression it is the polar opposite, the person may feel anger, agitation and irritability in a really severe way. Agitated depression is one of the most severe forms of depression and is most commonly seen among elderly patients (‘grumpy old people). While agitated depression is a disorder in and of itself, agitation does occur in other severe depression disorders. In agitated depression it is particularly severe.
Diagnosing Agitated Depression
Diagnosing depression is always a difficult task which should be left to mental health care professionals. There are many physical and illness related problems that can cause depression symptoms so you have tp be evaluated before a depression diagnosis can be confirmed. The criteria for diagnosing agitated depression are: having a major depressive episode; and two of the following: motor agitation (feeling like you have to constantly be moving), psychic agitation (intense inner tension), racing thoughts. Agitated depression is a major depressive disorder that can be singled out from most others.
Forms of Agitated Depression
There are three major forms of agitated depression. They are:
Psychotic Agitated Depression – a severe form of melancholia
Non-psychotic Agitated Depression – a moderate depression with the agitated symptoms
Excited Agitated Depression – psychic agitation and racing thoughts
Symptoms of Agitated Depression
Agitated depression has myriad symptoms which are expressed during a depressive episode. If you experience any two symptoms concurrently for several days you should seek help from a mental health care professional. The symptoms to look out for include:
Inability to sit still
Pulling or rubbing on hair, skin, or clothing
Outbursts of complaining or shouting
Talking on and on - cannot seem to stop talking
You are anxious and restless
Find it hard to define your problems
Wander restlessly around, making the same complaints over and over
Agitated depression can be difficult to treat because the behavior patterns associated with this form of depression lend to the inability to consistently take medication. It is important to get properly diagnosed by a mental health care professional who can supervise your treatment closely. Psychotherapy is also useful in treating agitated depression. It is usually necessary to have long term treatment as a combination drug and psychotherapy. The drug therapy has to be fine tuned to your specific needs. This can take up to a month to see results and a cessation of side effects in most people but it is highly effective.