Psychomotor agitation and/or Psychomotor retardation is a symptom of a mental illness like clinical depression, or bipolar disorder etc… while psychomotor agitation or retardation can be a common symptom of major depressive disorder or clinical depression, psychomotor agitation is seen in obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental diseases, and psychomotor retardation is seen in bipolar disorder.

Psychomotor Agitation and/or Psychomotor Retardation

What is Psychomotor Agitation?

Psychomotor agitation is a type of restlessness or muscular movement combined with mental tension. Psychomotor agitation is frequently associated with anxiety and depression. In psychomotor agitation there is a feeling of agitation associated with amplified motor activity. This might occur as a symptom of nervous system medicine contamination or other circumstances.

What is Psychomotor Agitation?

In psychomotor agitation there is a sequence of accidental and useless movements of a person that arrive from mental nervousness and anxiety. This includes walking around a room, sopping one's hands, unrestrained tongue changes, dragging off clothing also placing it back on as well as other similar proceedings. In more rigorous cases, the activities may become damaging to the person, such as chewing ripping or tearing the skin close to one's lips, fingernails or other parts of the body to the sense of bleeding.

This symptom i.e. psychomotor agitation is typically found in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or major depressive disorder, and sometimes agitated stage in bipolar disorder however it can be a consequence of excess use of stimulants. It also could be triggered by serious hyponatremia. The individuals who are elderly or middle-aged are more possibly express this circumstance.

What is Psychomotor Retardation?

Psychomotor retardation is also identified as motor mental retardation or psychomotor impairment. Psychomotor retardation causes slowing-down of consideration and a decrease of physical activities in a person.

Psychomotor retardation is possible to cause a noticeable slowing of emotional and physical reactions, comprising of affect and speech. This is most usually seen in individuals with clinical depression and in the depressed stage of bipolar disorder; it is also connected with the unfavorable effects of specific drugs, like benzodiazepines.

Mainly in an inpatient location, psychomotor retardation might need amplified nursing care to make certain sufficient food and fluid consumption and adequate personal care. Psychomotor retardation is identified as a main feature of depression.

What are Psychomotor Skills?

Psychomotor skills are the skills where thinking and movement are combined. These comprise things like coordination and balance. Psychomotor skills are recognized to be negatively influenced by depression. Superior psychomotor skill destruction is seen in adults and in individuals with lasting and more critical depressions. It is not obvious why depression distress psychomotor talents but MRI - magnetic resonance imaging has linked the shortages to changes in the brain observed in depression.

Despair and psychomotor abilities are mentioned particularly as diagnostic signs in the latest editions of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), this manual utilized to diagnose all psychological illnesses.

Psychomotor abilities are skills which help the body and brain to work together. An ordinary instance about this concept is hand-eye harmonization tasks. Hand-eye harmonization tasks comprise thing from pouring by hand a glass of fruit drink in the break of day to grabbing a ball during a baseball game. Grabbing a ball may be very difficult compared to pouring a fruit drink to a glass and so despair may influence that difficult aptitude more significantly. Instances of hand-eye harmonization psychomotor skills comprise:

  • Applying makeup
  • Writing
  • Folding laundry

Psychomotor abilities also comprise other kinds of movements like those that need manipulation, grace, strength, speed and skillfulness. Psychomotor skills are in general skills that are being trained, such as organizing, and can be enhanced with repeated accomplishments.

Psychomotor Agitation or Retardation

This is generally described as an "inner impatience or tension connected with amplified motor activities." Or else we can say, there is an emotion within you that you need to keep on moving and this obvious as repeated, habitually meaningless, activities like leg shaking, hand-wringing, pacing or fidgeting.

Psychomotor retardation is, certainly, the contrary. Psychomotor retardation is a reducing speed of psychomotor activities. Expressions of psychomotor retardation within depression comprise slowed movement, slow walking, impaired thinking and slowed speech.

What is the Impact of Depression on Psychomotor Skills?

Clinical depression harmfully influences psychomotor skills as well as can trigger a lack of harmonization, lack of activity management, a slowing of activities or repeated actions. This can obstruct everyday life in numerous ways from signing a check to involving in a yoga session, to even involving in a dialogue. In its most rigorous form, psychomotor retardation may also consequence in a catatonic condition where slight-to-no actions, even no speech. These harmful effects upset the lives of victims at home, school and work.

Medication for impact of depression on psychomotor skills involves medicating the depression itself, habitually with standard medications like antidepressants and probably also practicing the distressed skills. The prose is uncertain but it might be the situation where tricyclic antidepressant is more successful in situations of psychomotor retardation. During rigorous cases, where catatonia is there, electroconvulsive treatment may be like better and is believed effective.

What are the Causes of Psychomotor Agitation and/or Psychomotor Retardation?

The most common reason which is found for psychomotor agitation or psychomotor retardation is major depressive disorder.

The causes of psychomotor agitation include:

  • Severe depression can cause psychomotor agitation.
  • Another cause of psychomotor agitation is anxiety disorders.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can cause psychomotor agitation.
  • Some medicines can cause psychomotor agitation.
  • Sometimes PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) can also reason to psychomotor agitation.
  • Depression in bipolar hypomania, bipolar disorder, bipolar mania.

The causes of psychomotor retardation include:

  • Severe depression can lead to psychomotor retardation.
  • Some medicines can reason to psychomotor retardation.
  • Anxiety disorders cause psychomotor retardation.
  • Sometimes bipolar depression may reason to psychomotor retardation.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Psychomotor Agitation and/or Psychomotor Retardation?

Signs and Symptoms of Psychomotor Agitation

Signs and symptoms of psychomotor agitation include a sequence of accidental and meaningless movements of an individual that arrive from mental nervousness and anxiety of a person. Psychomotor agitation symptoms comprises walking here and there in a room, wringing hands, unrestrained tongue motion, dragging off clothing and wearing it back and other related actions. In more serious cases, the movements may become damaging to the person, such as tearing, chewing or ripping the skin near lips, fingernails or other parts of the body until it starts bleeding.

Signs and Symptoms of Psychomotor Retardation

Signs and symptoms of psychomotor retardation comprise the following:

  • Inconceivable difficulty in performing what are normally believed "mundane" or "automatic" self-care activities for healthy individuals (i.e., with no depressive sickness) like having a bath, self-grooming, brushing teeth, cooking, dressing and exercising is a major symptom of psychomotor retardation.
  • Physical complexity performing tasks which normally would need little consideration or attempt like preparing meals, climbing stairs, clearing dishes, household tasks, get out of bed and from the table, or habitual phone calls are other symptoms of psychomotor retardation.
  • Activities requiring mobility abruptly (or increasingly) and enigmatically seem to be "unfeasible". Tasks like getting groceries, shopping, taking care of daily needs of kids and meeting the targets of employment commonly affected. Persons experiencing these signs typically feel that something is improper, and might be puzzled about their incapability to carry on these tasks.
  • In psychomotor retardation tasks usually needing modest mental attempt can become demanding. Balancing checkbook, preparing a grocery list or making choices about mundane activities (like deciding what household tasks required to be done) may often not easy.

In schizophrenia, mood may change from psychomotor agitation to retardation and vice versa; the affected individual will go through periods of dullness and may be insensitive, and in a short while be energetic and active.

What are the Risk Factors for Psychomotor Agitation and/or Psychomotor Retardation?

Following are the risk factors for psychomotor retardation and/or psychomotor agitation owing to depression:

  • Certain behavior traits, like low confidence and being too reliant, pessimistic or self-critical is a major risk factor for psychomotor agitation or retardation.
  • Stressful or traumatic events, like sexual or physical abuse, the death of a dear one, financial problems, or a difficult relationship.
  • Childhood distress or despair that happened while you were a child or a teen
  • Blood relations with a past record of depression, alcoholism, bipolar disorder or suicide
  • Being gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual in an uncooperative situation
  • History of additional mental health disarrays, such as eating disorders, anxiety disorder or post-distressing disorder is a possible risk factor for psychomotor agitation or retardation.
  • Abuse of illegal drugs or alcohol.
  • Serious or lasting illnesses including stroke, cancer, heart disease or chronic pain.
  • Certain medications like high blood pressure drugs or sleeping pills (consult your doctor before discontinuing any medication.)

What are the Complications in Psychomotor Agitation and/or Psychomotor Retardation?

Instances of complications of psychomotor agitation and/or psychomotor retardation connected with depression comprise:

  • Excess weight, which can direct to diabetes and heart disease, is a major possible complication of psychomotor agitation or retardation.
  • Physical illness and pain is another complication of psychomotor agitation or retardation.
  • Another complication of psychomotor agitation or retardation is substance misuse or regular alcohol consumption.
  • Panic disorder, social phobia or anxiety is a severe complication of psychomotor agitation or retardation.
  • Relationship difficulties, family conflicts and school or work problems
  • Other psychomotor agitation or retardation complications are suicidal thoughts, suicide efforts or suicide, Social remoteness, Self-damage such as cutting.

What is the Treatment for Psychomotor Agitation and/or Psychomotor Retardation?

Treatments for Psychomotor Agitation Include:

Treatment for psychomotor agitation include hypodermal injection of lorazepam, midazolam or a different benzodiazepine can be utilized to both dignified agitated affected individuals and manipulate semi-automatic muscle activities in situations of assumed akathisia.

Haloperidol, droperidol or other usual antipsychotics can lessen the length of agitation triggered by severe psychosis, but must be evaded if psychomotor agitation is assumed to be akathisia, this could be potentially set worsted. In those with neurosis triggering agitation there is a need of backing for the make use of benzodiazepines, even though they can avert side effects connected with dopamine rival.

Psychomotor agitation is triggered by taking depression medicine, in such situations just lessening the dose often is sufficient to help; not uncommonly, if required, the dosage can be increased again later with no arrival of the agitation.

Second medicine to lessen the agitation Ativan or Cogentin too can work. Or, changing to a dissimilar antidepressant can do the secret. The significant thing: do not just tolerate the side effects like psychomotor agitation or retardation but do not quit also. Keep trying.

Treatments for Psychomotor Retardation Include:

Treatments for psychomotor retardation refer to a fact where persons with any of these disorders experience a marked slowing down in thinking practice and movement. It is an indication of the disorder and gets better with effective medication. Many disorders can trigger psychomotor retardation, for instance, parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, depression etc.

All these are manageable illnesses and are doctored differently. Looking for a doctor who is capable to identify these illnesses is the initial step towards discovering the helpful medication for psychomotor agitation or retardation.

Treating psychomotor retardation signifies doctoring the underlying reason; the main underlying reason is depression. The below are the means to treat depression. Psychological counseling (psychotherapy) and medications are very effectual for most individuals with psychomotor agitation or retardation.

How Can Medications Help in Treating Psychomotor Agitation and/or Psychomotor Retardation?

Many kinds of antidepressant medicines exists for treating psychomotor agitation or retardation in depression. Discuss likely major consequences with your pharmacist or doctor.

  • Selective serotonin reuptake & inhibitors or SSRIs for Psychomotor Agitation or Psychomotor Retardation. Physicians often begin by recommending a SSRI. These treatments for psychomotor agitation or retardation are harmless and usually cause fewer after effects than other kinds of antidepressants. SSRIs medicines include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), escitalopram (Lexapro), citalopram (Celexa), & sertraline (Zoloft).
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine & reuptake inhibitors or SNRIs. Instances of SNRIs for treating psychomotor agitation or retardation comprise venlafaxine, levomilnacipran (Fetzima), duloxetine (Cymbalta) & desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq).
  • Norepinephrine-dopamine & reuptake inhibitors or NDRIs for Psychomotor Agitation or Retardation. It is an antidepressant not frequently connected with sexual after effects. Bupropion (Aplenzin, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin) falls into this group.
  • Atypical antidepressants for Treating Psychomotor Agitation or Retardation. These medicines do not fit into any further antidepressant categories. Mirtazapine (Remeron) and Trazodone are sedating and normally taken during the evening. Newer medicines include vilazodone (Viibryd), vilazodone and vortioxetine (Brintellix) is usually having a low possibility of sexual after effects.
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants. Such antidepressants — like amitriptyline, doxepin, imipramine (Tofranil), trimipramine (Surmontil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil) and desipramine (Norpramin)— can be very effectual for treating psychomotor agitation or retardation, but be likely to trigger more-severe after effects than latest antidepressants. So tricyclics normally are not prescribed unless you have attempted an SSRI first with no improvement.
  • Monoamine oxidase & inhibitors or MAOIs for treating Psychomotor Agitation or Retardation. This include isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate) and phenelzine (Nardil)— might be prescribed, usually when other treatments have not worked, as they can hold serious after effects. Using MAOIs wants a strict diet as of severe (or even deadly) connections with foods ― like certain pickles, wines and cheeses ― and certain medicines comprising birth control pills, some herbal supplements and decongestants. Selegiline (Emsam), a latest MAOI for treating psychomotor agitation or retardation which sticks as a patch on the skin, might cause fewer after effects than additional MAOIs do. These medicines cannot be merged with SSRIs.
  • Other Medicines. These may be further to an antidepressant in order to improve antidepressant results. Your doctor may advise merging two antidepressants or additional medications like antipsychotics or mood stabilizers for treating psychomotor agitation or retardation. Anti-anxiety, stimulant medicines for treating psychomotor agitation or retardation may also be used for immediate use.

How Can Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy Help in Psychomotor Agitation and/or Psychomotor Retardation?

Psychotherapy or talk therapy is a general expression for medicating depression by discussing about your situations and connected concerns with a mental fitness provider. Psychotherapy is recognized as speech therapy or emotional therapy and can help cope with psychomotor agitation or psychomotor retardation.

Different categories of psychotherapy could be effectual for depression, like cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) or interpersonal treatment. Your mental fitness provider too may suggest other medications. Psychotherapy can assist you in managing psychomotor agitation or retardation:

  • Psychotherapy can aid in regulating to a current crisis or other existing difficulty in psychomotor agitation or psychomotor retardation.
  • Recognizing negative attitudes and movements and substitute them with healthy and positive ones is a major way the talk therapy can help for managing psychomotor agitation or psychomotor retardation.
  • Another way the psychotherapy can help in managing psychomotor agitation or retardation is by exploring associations and experiences, and advance positive communications with others.
  • Find improved ways to manage and resolve problems.
  • Identify problems that donate to your gloominess and alter actions that make it inferior.
  • Recover a intellect of fulfillment and manage in yourself and assist ease depression signs, such as depression and anger.
  • Understand to set practical targets for your life.
  • Extend the capability to accept and tolerate suffering using healthier actions can be done by making use of talk therapy for psychomotor agitation or retardation.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: June 30, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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