Two years ago i had several symptoms of psychotic depression .The symptoms of psychotic depression used to be the cause of severe headache and heart palpitations while reading for school. I haven’t been through any sort of treatment or counseling. Today even though the symptoms of psychotic depression are almost totally gone i find myself having difficulty to concentrate while reading for college which is extremely tiring and affects both me and my performance at college. It’s as if i am afraid that my symptoms will appear again . What should i do?

A. I’m not certain what you meant by the expression “psychotic depression.” There are occasions when psychosis accompanies depression but clinically that disorder is referred to as “major depressive disorder with psychotic features,” rather than “psychotic depression.”

When you have symptoms of “psychotic depression,” you experience a severe headache and heart palpitations. Neither of those symptoms are typically associated with psychosis or depression. What you understand to be symptoms of “psychotic depression” may in fact be symptoms of another disorder or a potential medical problem. Heart palpitations are sometimes associated with severe anxiety but there may also be a medical cause.

You have yet to be evaluated by a professional about your symptoms. That may be why you have used incorrect terminology with regard to a diagnosis. It is always wise to consult professionals with regard to a diagnosis. That is true with regard to both medical problems and psychological problems. Self-diagnosis can be inaccurate and it is generally not recommended.

You should consult both a mental health and a medical professional. It is unusual to experience severe headaches and heart palpitations. Start by consulting your primary care physician, report all of the symptoms that you have mentioned in your letter, and ask for a referral to the appropriate specialists. I hope that you will consider this advice. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle