What Is Agitated Depression: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Last Update on May 11, 2021 : Published on April 11, 2021
agitated depression

Just like the term agitation comes with trouble, anxiety, upset mood and anger, agitated depression comes with common symptoms like restlessness, fidgeting, excessive talking and sudden outbursts. Agitated depression is a severe type of clinical depression where severe sadness, pessimism, low energy and ‘empty’ mood is also seen.

It is to be noted that agitated depression is also called as ‘mixed mania’ or ‘melancholia agitata’ and it is common with people suffering from bipolar disorder. However, agitation could also be a part of major depressive disorder which makes a person look restless.

What Are The Symptoms Of Agitated Depression?

    Severe agitation can pass on strong and uncomfortable feelings to a person from which escaping is tough. Some common symptoms that an individual faces during agitated depression are:

    • Extreme irritability and getting annoyed even over a small discussion
    • Anger
    • Fidgeting
    • Pacing
    • Fatigue
    • Losing/gaining weight more than usual
    • Extreme sadness
    • Restlessness
    • Racing thoughts
    • Nail biting
    • Complaining and shouting
    • Pulling hairs and clothes
    • Picking skin or showing signs of excoriation disorder

Agitated depression can lead to conflicting feelings of restlessness and depression and some of the patients can even show suicidal behavior or self injury.

If any of your loved ones or you are facing suicidal thoughts or urge to injure oneself, contact 911 or suicide helpline 1-800-273-8255 now.

What Are The Common Causes Of Agitated Depression?

Common Causes Of Agitated Depression

There could be triggers which cause sudden changes in depressive behavior include:

It is to be noted that depression medications could become one of the reasons for agitated behavior. If such symptoms have started showing up recently, consult with your physician today only. Your doctor can help you in replacing medicines or change the consumption pattern.

How Is Agitated Depression Diagnosed?

This particular type of depression is diagnosed by your psychiatrist or mental health provider. On a visit or online consultation, you will be asked about the symptoms you are experiencing along with the personal medical history.

Now that you know that this depression is overlapped by several types of depression, the diagnosis is not straightforward. This is why your mental health care provider would evaluate all the conditions properly, observe the mood changes and learn your experiences.

NOTE: The symptoms of agitated depression are present for more than two weeks or more than 2 symptoms of agitation are joined in with typical symptoms of depression for diagnosis.

Usually, talk therapy becomes a source of connection between health providers and patients where behaviors and manners are also noticed. One can also expect blood tests to rule out the cause of irritability, vitamin deficiencies and hormonal imbalance. The doctor can diagnose a person with depression before finally ruling it as agitated depression.

Treatment Of Agitated Depression

Agitated depression is treated in the similar way as other types of depression are treated. It includes:

  • Medications
  • Therapy
  • In extreme cases, electroconvulsive therapy

It is usually the combination of the first two which is used to treat agitated depression.

Medications: Doctors may recommend antidepressants, mood stabilizers or anti anxiety medicines for a few months. One must consume the correct dosage as recommended by the doctor.

Therapy: Therapies for agitated depression usually include talk therapy and cognitive behavior therapy. These therapies help a person in recognizing negative and destructive thoughts and change them into positive ones.

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The therapist may also provide you some de-escalation techniques to treat agitated depression like:

  • Speaking in a soft, low and firm tone
  • Giving you some space to open up
  • Provide you a quite and decent place to calm down

Personal Coping Skills for Agitated depression

Agitated depression can be managed well with the help of treatments in the most effective manner. However, it is recommended that treatments are taken in a consistent manner to get proper relief from the condition.

Apart from treatments, one can also work on coping skills to transform their thoughts and actions for better outputs including:

  • Taking enough rest and deep sleep
  • Disrupting negative habits
  • Being regular at exercises
  • Applying self-calming techniques like breathing exercises, meditation or a particular hobby
  • Learn stress management techniques

Remember, self-care is an important way to give yourself a happy dose and cope with agitated depression.


Connect with a psychologist online by sending a message at info@calmsage.com and we will help you connect with a mental health provider.

If you choose to visit your doctor in person, it is again a very good step to take. Make sure that you don’t delay it so that the early recovery process can begin as soon as possible.

About The Author

Akanksha Soni
Akanksha Soni

Akanksha is an active lifestyle blogger and writer at Calmsage. She has learnt various lessons on happiness and methods to fight depression through 'Gurus' as well as own experiences. An ardent practitioner of Yoga and meditation, she keeps traveling, writes and interacts with people to feel alive.

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