Many people, especially the youths in society today, have mental health problems that they fear talking about. This is because people rarely engage in talks about such issues. However, if one could take time and have a deep conversation with most people, they would be surprised how most hide sadness behind fake smiles and laughs. This has alleviated the prevalence and incidence rates of suicides and mental breakdown. It has also affected how people think and handle issues like stress and anger and how we relate with others. This paper explores a case of a youth suffering from psychotic depression, a brief description of this disorder and symptoms, and a brief description of a test for the same.
Psychotic depression occurs when people lose some contact with reality and assume things that are not as though they are. Though it is underdiagnosed and undertreated, it is debilitating and still considered among the most severe forms of depression. The disorder presents both symptoms of psychosis and depression (Jamie Eske & Legg, 2018). Seeing and hearing things other people cannot, mood disorders, delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and psychomotor impairments are among the major signs of the disorder regardless of the severity of the disease (Jamie Eske & Legg, 2018). Other symptoms include frequent suicidal thoughts, unexplainable appetite changes, loss of interest and pleasure, being in a state of stupor, and restlessness (Rosemary Black & Randy Bressler, 2022). The cause of the disorder is not yet determined as a variety of reasons may cause its occurrences. Some triggers are stressful life events such as serious illness, financial strain, or educational strain. In some cases, severe depression results from genetics, whereby a family can have a history of mental disorders that may translate to psychotic depression (Rosemary Black & Randy Bressler, 2022).
Regarding our case study, Samuel expresses various symptoms closely related to this psychotic disorder. He presents the two prominent symptoms of the psychotic disorder: being delusional and experiencing hallucinations. Samuel being delusional, believes there is an alien set to take his brain. This is after it placed a chip in his brain that is active when he answers or makes phone calls. Nevertheless, Samuel feels helpless in the hands of the imaginary alien being. Samuel also shows signs of paranoia and extreme suspicion of other people; despite his family trying to help him seek mental health care, he says it is a conspiracy by his parents and the alien to harm him and steal his brain. He also exhibits hallucinations as he speaks to imaginary people in an agitated voice. This psychomotor agitation is also a common symptom of the same. Moreover, he is always unrelaxed and constantly fidgeting.
Considering the Mental Measurement Yearbook, the best fitting test for the delusional disorder is the Cognitive Behavior Rating Scales test (Rosemary Black & Randy Bressler, 2022). The cognitive Behavior Rating Scales test is an observer-rated scale utilized in measuring the competence pertaining the cognitive therapy skills using 11 items rated from 0(poor) to 6(excellent). This test is fit for testing this patient because it will help to establish this patient’s cognitive ability and, in turn, help determine whether he is stable cognitively, which will enhance the establishment of the state of his mind from whence ideas and, in turn, perceptions arise from in that with the poor cognitive skills then the patient will be susceptible to negative perceptions including delusions.
In conclusion, based on the symptoms presented and the diagnoses made and suggested tests, the healthcare providers responsible for Samuel’s mental health should be able to help him since everyone’s mental health state matters, and we should try to improve it by all means.
Jamie Eske, & Legg, T. J. (2018, September). What to know about depression with psychosis. Medical News Today. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323193#diagnosing
Rosemary Black, & Randy Bressler. (2022, September). Psychotic Depression: What It Is and What You Should Know. Psycom. Retrieved September 24, 2022, from https://www.psycom.net/depression/psychotic-depression