Melancholic Depression (Melancholia) - Depression with Melancholic Features

Melancholic depression (melancholia) is a type of major depressive disorder that is characterized by melancholic features.

Melancholic depression makes people lose interest in nearly all activities and has other distinct symptoms.

Melancholic Depression (Melancholia) - Depression with Melancholic Features
Melancholic Depression (Melancholia) - Depression with Melancholic Features

What is Melancholic Depression?

Melancholic depression (Melancholia) is a form of major depressive disorder that is characterized by depressed mood, abnormal motor functions, and abnormal vegetative signs.

Melancholic depression causes a significant change in mood, as it can make a person think about not staying in life and that it has no value or importance.

This type of depression used to be classified as a separate disorder, but the American Psychiatric Association (APA) no longer recognizes it as a separate mental illness, but rather classifies it as a subtype of clinical depression.

In the DSM-5, melancholic depression (melancholia) is a specifier for major depressive disorder, so a person with melancholia would be diagnosed as having MDD with melancholic features.

Major depressive episodes are accompanied by persistent and intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and changes in mood and behavior.

Depressive episodes can affect many areas of life, including work, study and social relationships, and a person with depression may feel that nothing in this life is worth living for or caring for.

Although melancholic depression can be difficult to treat, recovery is possible.  A trained mental health professional can help people with melancholic depression manage their symptoms.

Related: Depression-Symptoms, Risk Factors and Complications -How to Deal with Depression and Sadness?

Are there types of melancholic depression?

Melancholic depression is classified into several forms and they are:

Depression that makes a person's mood in a very bad state, so nothing suits him no matter what happens and can be affected by the slightest reasons that make him very noticeably nervous, and the situation leads them to extreme violence towards others.

Depressed emotionally, this means that they see themselves as different from all the people around them, they are more sensitive and it is not appropriate for them to be with these people.

Depression that leads to obsession, and this obsession is through frustration and despair, and all negative feelings are gathered inside the person until they lead to obsession.

Related: Clinical Depression Symptoms and Causes | How to Deal with Major Depressive Episode

Symptoms of Melancholic Depression

Symptoms that may appear on people with melancholic depression include:

  • Persistent feelings of extreme sadness for a long period of time, regardless of the circumstances surrounding them.
  • Feeling tired and exhausted.
  • Feeling anxious or irritable.
  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable.
  • Loss of pleasure in all or most daily activities.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, and making decisions.
  • Eating too much food in some cases, or too little in others.
  • Sleeping too much in some cases, or too little sleep in others.
  • Thinking and talking about death or suicide.
  • Attempting suicide.
  • Lack of interaction with positive news or events.
  • Constant feeling of excessive or inappropriate guilt.
  • Experiencing changes in body movement
  • Weight changes and disturbances.
  • Symptoms of MDD that are worse in the morning.

Causes of melancholic depression

The exact cause of Melancholic depression isn't entirely clear, but family history, brain chemistry, genetics, past traumas, and hormones may all play a role in Melancholia.

It is believed that the causes of melancholic depression are mostly biological factors; some may have inherited from their parents. 

Sometimes, stressful situations can lead to episodes of melancholic depression, although this is a contributing cause rather than a necessary or sufficient cause.

The elderly, inpatients, and those exhibiting psychotic features are more likely to have melancholic depression.

People who experience psychotic symptoms are also thought to be more prone to this disorder. It is frequent in the elderly and often goes unnoticed by some doctors who see the symptoms as part of dementia. 

Melancholic depression, major depressive disorder or otherwise, is a separate condition that can accompany dementia in the elderly.

Read here: 

1. Diagnostic Tests for Depression | How to Get an Accurate Diagnosis of Clinical Depression

2. How Depression can Speed Up the Brain's Aging Process

3. Serotonin Deficiency -Depression, Irritability and Obsession

4. How to Overcome Mood Swings and How to Stabilize Your Mood Naturally?

5. Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and Treatment Methods: Medication and Psychotherapy

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