comprises a slowing down of thought
and a reduction of physical movements in a person. This is most commonly seen in people with major depression
where it indicates a degree of severity. It is often accompanied by psychosis
. People with this can sometimes be mistaken as having dementia
. Psychomotor retardation can require increased nursing care
to ensure adequate food and fluid intake as well as self-care. Informed consent
for treatment is more difficult to achieve when this is present.
Psychomotor retardation is also referred to as motormental retardation, commonly seen in depression and bipolar disorder.
Some examples of "psychomotor retardation" may include the following:
- Unaccountable difficulty with carrying out what are usually considered "automatic" or "mundane" tasks for healthy people (i.e., without depressive illness), such as taking a shower, putting on clothes, self-grooming, preparing food, brushing teeth
- Real physical difficulty performing activities that normally would require little thought or effort, such as walking up a flight of stairs, simply getting out of bed, clearing dishes from the table, straightening a room, vacuuming, taking out or throwing out trash, doing laundry
- Tasks requiring mobility suddenly or gradually inexplicably seem to be "impossible," such as shopping, getting groceries, taking one's children to school or other activities, helping one's children with homework, feeding or dressing one's children, going to one's employment. The person experiencing these symptoms knows that something is "wrong," and can become alarmed, or confused over their inability to perform these tasks, and even fearful about discussing them with anyone, feeling as if they are "going crazy"
- Tasks usually requiring little mental effort become difficult and confusing, such as balancing one's checkbook, making a shopping list, decision-making over mundane tasks, (such as deciding what errands need to be done); memory can be affected, such as forgetting appointments, not remembering where one put something, etc. What makes these symptoms DIFFERENT from the normal glitches everyone experiences is that they become severe enough to interfere with normal functioning - such as maintaining relationships, keeping one's job, etc.