15 Useful Ways to Combat Psychomotor Impairment In Depression

What is Psychomotor Impairment?

Psychomotor refers to a connection that is made between mental and muscle functions. Psychomotor impairment occurs when there’s a disruption with these connections. It affects the way you move, talk, and other regular activities. It can manifest itself in the form of slow thinking or slower body movements than normal.

Visual presentation of Psychomotor Impairment

Psychomotor impairment is a leading symptom in Depression and Anxiety. The presentation of psychomotor impairment involves less expressions on the face when talking, slumping forward during sitting and slow movements of legs, hands, head and torso when engaging in any kind of physical activity.

Studies show that impairment can be prevalent in adults, teenagers and children as well. Now, we are going to discuss 15 ways to manage psychomotor impairment that individuals have to deal with in depression.

Assess Psychomotor Impairment

1. Identify triggering source

The very first thing that one can do to manage their symptoms of psychomotor impairment is to identify the sources which lead towards psychomotor impairment. The possible sources of triggers are; environmental stress, usage of drugs, episodes of depression, episodes of anxiety. After identifying the sources, you should actively try to avoid those situations and if those situations are unavoidable then you should take appropriate measures to manage your symptoms.

2. Breaking down the tasks

Suppose you are suffering from any muscle dysfunctioning like brushing teeth. The daily functioning is impaired because of psychomotor impairment. Don’t get overwhelmed.

Psychomotor impairment can be improved by breaking down steps into subunits and doing practice before proceeding into the next sub-units. It helps a lot to overcome psychomotor impairment and reduce depression or anxiety.

3. Practice physical performance

Distributed practice is more effective in the development of psychomotor skills than massed practice. You are required to do frequent practice sessions over a long time to get effective results. Upper limb and lower limb practices helps in managing psychomotor impairment in teenagers and adults.

4. Enhancing mental functions

The mental practice may be defined as a covert rehearsal of skill by imaging you performing the skill step by step and feeling one’s way through the movements. For example, if you cannot throw a ball, then there is a need to focus on that specific muscle in carrying and throwing. You are instructed to think and imagine a ball and steps that are required to complete a task. You can feel the movement by thinking about it.

It also enhances mental functioning and mental muscle coordination for managing psychomotor impairment.

5. Get motivated

Motivation reflects something unique about each one of us and allows us to gain valued outcomes like improved performance, enhanced well-being, personal growth, or a sense of purpose. Motivation is a pathway to change our way of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

When you have been motivated to perform a task, whether mental or physical, you can put more effort into achieving it. Keep repeating in your mind, “You can do it.” It helps in overcoming psychomotor impairment and associated depression.

 Practice adequate goals

6. Make cognitive goals

You need to look for psychomotor issues and muscles that are not responding. After diagnosis, you are required to set cognitive goals. This includes identifying the problem, reframing the problems, looking for possible solutions, trying out the alternative solutions, assessing the consequences and then using the similar approach for future problems.

7. Affective goals

The affective goals in the treatment of psychomotor impairment involves working together with other people or asking for help from other people when you’re suffering from psychomotor impairment.

8. Articulation

Psychomotor impairment not only impair the individual’s ability of movement and mental functioning but it also affects the individual’s ability of speaking or articulating speech. Articulation is important to produce sounds, words, and sentences that are clear and can be easily understood and interpreted by others to be able to express basic needs and wants, right through to being able to engage in complex conversations.

To overcome this issue one can join speech therapy sessions to get better command on their articulation.


 9. Ask for feedbacks

If you’re suffering from psychomotor impairment and trying to overcome it by applying various methods and strategies then it’s imperative for you to get feedback from others. While receiving feedback you should listen to the feedback given attentively, be open, understand the message, reflect and decide what to do. This will help you to identify how much you’re improving and how much improvement is still required.


10. Antipsychotics

If psychomotor impairment is related to manic or depressive episodes, your doctor may prescribe mood stabilizers or antipsychotic drugs. A 2013 study found that the anti-anxiety drug benzodiazepine can help treat types of psychosis-induced impairment.

11. Antidepressants

Psychomotor retardation is most-commonly seen in people with major depression and the depressed phase of bipolar disorder. Types of antidepressants SSRIs including fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), and Lexapro can be prescribed to the patients suffering from psychomotor retardation.

Rehabilitative therapies

12. Physical therapy to treat psychomotor impairment

Physical therapy is known to improve an individual's muscle movement and overall strength. Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise and hands-on care for patients. Physical therapy along with medications and other safety measures is an effective and  scientifically approved method to  deal with psychomotor impairment associated with depression.

Physical Therapy

 13. Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy (OT) is a branch of health care that can help people suffering from psychomotor impairment. OT can help them regain independence in all areas of their lives. Occupational therapists help with barriers that affect a psychomotor impaired person’s emotional, social, and physical needs. A few of the occupational therapist functions are here:

  • Self-care routines like getting dressed (fine motor skills and motor planning)
  • Writing and copying notes (fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination)
  • Holding and controlling a pencil, using scissors (fine motor skills, motor planning)

14. Speech therapy

Speech therapy exercises for adults can help you with speech, language, and cognitive-communication which are mostly affected by the symptoms of psychomotor impairment in Depression and Anxiety. Therapy may also include retraining of swallowing function if those are also affected by psychomotor impairment.

15. Electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is most commonly used in patients with severe major depression that leads to psychomotor impairment. If the person has not received any benefit from other treatments; then this technique will be helpful. ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.


Psychomotor retardation involves a slowing-down of thought and a reduction of physical movements in an individual. Psychomotor retardation can cause a visible slowing of physical and emotional reactions, including speech and affect.  The above-suggested ways are useful in managing impairment and associated depression. A psychological expert and professional can help you to treat in a better way.

Moving forward with Psychotherapy

Fortunately, Ahealo.com offers a global ePsychotherapy platform that allows clients to book an online anonymous private appointment with a broad skill range of psychotherapists at an affordable cost and desired schedule.


Alternatively, if you need to seek psychotherapy, be sure to check out ahealo.com. Ahealo is an online psychotherapy platform with a diverse range of psychotherapists for many different fields of mental challenges. Ahealo provides ePsychotherapy at an affordable price, confidential, convenient (through a web page 1-1 private video call), and at your comfortable schedule. 

With these options, we believe your psychomotor impairment can be resolved soon.

Stay well.