Melancholic depression is a severe form of depressive disorder or mental illness and is psychotic in nature. It is primarily caused by biological and genetic factors rather than psychological factors. It is a mental state that is characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest and pleasure in almost everything. Person with Melancholic depression becomes non-responsive to happy incidents or surroundings even for the short period. Melancholic depression also leads to psychomotor disturbances such as low energy, poor concentration, slowed or agitated movements.
Causes of melancholia
It is believed that certain biological factors and genetic factors play an important role in development of this clinical depression. Studies also show that those who suffer from melancholia generally have a family history of depression disorders. Melancholia may not be an outcome of few negative incidents in life, but surely such events act as a trigger and initiate the problem. Biologically, melancholic depression is believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance or malfunctioning of the neurotransmitters in the brain.
Symptoms of Melancholia
A person is diagnosed as suffering from melancholia when constantly experiencing extreme sadness accompanied by any 3 or 4 features mentioned above.
Unlike situational depression which is caused by sad events in life, melancholia is caused by biological disorder. Hence counseling and psychotherapy is probably not the solution. Treatment requires physical intervention via antidepressant drugs and also Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or shock treatment in case of extreme severity. Electroconvulsive therapy is recommended only for the severest forms of depressions, when a patient is not responding to antidepressant treatment or is posing a threat to self or others. Electroconvulsive therapy has certain side effects like short and long-term memory loss, hence it is advised only when the situation demands.
Postpartum depression can begin any time after delivery and last up to a year. Caring for the newborn is stressful and it is common for mothers to feel over anxious, tensed and exhausted. But, if a mother feels less motivated to care for the child, loses appetite and concentration that persists for many days, she needs help. Medical examination of these changes in attitude is undertaken to determine if she is going through postpartum depression. If the symptoms persist for more than two weeks after childbirth, it is recognized as postpartum depression.
Check for following symptoms:
Causes of postpartum depression
While research activities continue to evaluate the exact reasons for postpartum depression, it is commonly associated with changes in body, mind and lifestyle adjustments.
Also known as maniac depressive disorder, bipolar affective disorder or maniac depression, bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition that can be managed with appropriate treatment. People with bipolar disorder experience a change in their energy levels and activities along with severe mood swings. This disorder is aptly named bipolar disorder because the mood of a person varies between two opposite poles of euphoria and depression. The highly elevated mood episodes are known as mania or extremely sad moods are called depression. A patient suffering from bipolar disorder might experience mania, depression or a mixed feeling of both. A mild episode of elevated mood is known as hypomania. Normal mood persists in between episodes of mania and depression.
Bipolar I disorder: In this type of disorder, the patient has at least one episode of mania or mixed mood and often gets depressed. In between mood swings, the patient might appear to have normal mood. Mood swings can come about with changing seasons.
Bipolar II disorder: In this type of disorder, the patient has at least one episode of depression and at least one episode of hypomania. Hypomania is not a severe form of mania.
Cyclothymic Disorder: This is the mildest form of bipolar disorder. The patient experiences mild gloominess and somewhat elevated feelings. Mood swings are less severe and prevail for a short period of time. People with cyclothymic disorder might develop severe bipolar disorder with time.
Causes for affective disorder
Hereditary factor: Any relative from the patient's family might have been a victim of this disorder thus passing on the disorder.
Hormone level fluctuation: It is understood that varying hormonal levels in the body could lead to bipolar disorder. For e.g. people with altering thyroid hormone levels are prone to this disorder.
Brain part: Varying size and shape of parts in the brain can also lead to bipolar disorder.
Chemical imbalance in the brain: If the chemical levels in the brain are not at the optimum levels, it can result in bipolar disorder.
Treating Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder varies from person to person and so the treatment offered is also based on the current condition of the patient. Medications can help control extreme mood swings. Psychotherapy or talk therapy enables the patient to talk about his/her condition to the health professional.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 18, 2018