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Surviving Major Depression
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Winter Depression

Melancholia- Melancholic Depression

Melancholia is a sub-type of major depression and is also known as melancholic depression. Individuals suffering from melancholia show significant loss of interest in pleasurable activities and events, withdrawal from social and professional circles and a profound quality of depression. These individuals fail to react to enjoyment and appear to be extremely sad and troubled. Melancholic depression is a severe mental disorder and needs to be treated immediately as it can cause considerable disruption of normal functioning at work and in other spheres of life. Abraham Lincoln, former Unites States President was diagnosed with this disorder.

Symptoms of Melancholia:

  • Waking up very early in the morning
  • Melancholic depression is at its worst during the early hours of morning.
  • Noticeable psychomotor retardation.
  • Agitation and restlessness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Changes in weight
  • Inappropriate and excessive guilt.
  • The depressed mood is melancholic in nature i.e. it has a profound and monotonous kind of sadness that is different from other forms of depression.


Genetic factors: This type of depression is known to run in families. Individuals with first degree relatives diagnosed with this disorder at an increased risk of developing it.

Biological factors: Chemical imbalances in the brain can trigger this type of depression.

Melancholia is a type of depression that is closely linked to endogenous causes or chemical changes in the brain that can result in certain depressive disorders that seem to be caused from within and are not the outcome of any identifiable stressors or negative stimuli. Individuals suffering from this type of mental illness are unable to handle stressful situations, tension and exhaustion and tend to get depressed very easily. No particular life stressor, event or situation can trigger this type of depression and it appears to be caused out of the blue.


Medication is required to rectify sleep disturbances and agitation. Patients suffering from melancholia are most likely to respond to electroconvulsive therapy. Medicines such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to treat melancholic patients. In case you experience any of the above symptoms, you must consult a psychologist, psychiatrist or clinical social worker at the earliest. This type of depression can be quite debilitating and can affect individuals of any age group.


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