What Is Psychotic Mood Disorder?

What Is Psychotic Mood Disorder?

Psychotic mood disorder is characterized by the presence of symptoms of both mood disorder and psychosis. On the basis of the type of mood disorder the condition can be divided into psychotic depression, psychotic mania and bipolar disorder along with psychosis.

Psychotic disorders are the condition which affects the mental ability of the person. It is generally regarded as mental illness and the condition is progressive if left unmanaged. The patient suffering from psychotic disorder have reduced the capacity of thinking, logical decision making, emotionally weak, and fails to communicate. This disorder reduces the quality of life of the patient and the prognosis of the disorder depends upon the type and severity. Various types of psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, paraphrenia, psychotic problem due to an underlying medical condition and substance-induced psychotic disorder. Mood disorder is also related to the psychotic behavior of patients. The common mood disorders include manic, major depression and bipolar disorder.

The psychotic mood disorders include psychotic depression or depressive psychosis and psychotic mania. Psychotic depression is the presence of psychotic symptoms along with the depressive disorder. The condition is difficult to differentiate with an almost similar condition known as a schizoaffective disorder which is characterized by psychotic symptoms without a mood disorder. Another form of psychotic mood disorder is psychotic mania, also known as manic psychosis, and is characterized by poor judgment and increased incidence of taking risky decisions. In some patients, psychotic disorder is also found along with bipolar disorder.

Symptoms Of Psychotic Mood Disorder

The psychotic mood disorder is presented by the symptoms related to the underlying mood disorder. Thus, a psychotic patient with clinical depression has different symptoms as compared to manic psychosis.

Symptoms Of Depressive Psychosis:

  • Delusions with depression
  • hallucinations along with major depression
  • Patient with simultaneous delusion and hallucinations along with depression
  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest in activities which were once interesting
  • Psychomotor retardation
  • Severe anhedonia
  • The feeling of worthlessness or guilt
  • Violent without any obvious reason
  • Try to hide the thoughts to disguise diagnosis
  • Constipation
  • Hypochondria
  • Insomnia

Symptoms Of Manic Psychosis:

  • Illogical and plausible thinking
  • Irrational and illogical decision making
  • Severe excitement
  • Excess motor activity
  • A decreased need for sleep
  • Increased energy and pressure of speech
  • Distracted concentration
  • Overconfidence

Diagnosis Of Psychotic Mood Disorder

Diagnosis of psychotic depression is difficult due to two reasons. First, the patient himself does not know that the patient has been suffering from the disease. Second, the patient tries to hide the exact information from the doctor. Further, various psychotics disorders, such as schizoaffective disorder, have symptoms almost similar to psychotic depression. Diagnosis is done by identifying the presence of symptoms of both major depression and psychosis. The diagnosis is done through the physical examination and medical history of the patient. The doctor may also ask questions about the family environment and family history of the patient. Urine and blood tests are advised for excluding the presence of any underlying disease. The diagnosis is not conclusively done by primary care personnel and there is a need for a psychiatrist to further analyze and diagnose the patient.

The diagnosis of psychotic mania is done by establishing the presence of delusions and hallucinations in manic patients and also the presence of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders are excluded.

Treatment For Psychotic Mood Disorder

Various treatment guidelines are available for creating a treatment strategy for the patient suffering from psychotic depression. Antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs are the primary choices of treatment. However, certain studies have concluded that the combination of antidepressant and antipsychotics drugs is more effective than monotherapy with either drug. Electroconvulsive therapy can also be used in some cases. The treatment includes the combination of olanzapine and sertraline, venlafaxine and quetiapine and olanzapine and fluoxetine.


Delusions and hallucinations are the major symptoms of psychosis. When these symptoms are combined with mood disorders such as depression, manic or bipolar disorder, the condition is termed as a psychotic mood disorder.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 25, 2019

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