Melancholic Depression: Understanding the Depths of Despair

Melankolik Depresyon Nedir

Depression is defined as a “mood disorder,” characterized by individuals feeling emotionally low. Depression is classified into different subtypes, and one of these is melancholic depression. Melancholic depression is a type of major depression that tends to be more severe and debilitating compared to other forms. In melancholic depression, not only is there a pervasive low mood and despondency, but there is also a significant emphasis on physical and cognitive slowing.

Melancholy and Melancholic Depression

Around 400 BCE, Hippocrates used the term melancholia to describe some mental illnesses resembling depression. Sigmund Freud later divided depression into psychological and biological categories, coining the term endogenous depression for the type of depression not dependent on environmental events. In the DSM III terminology, endogenous depression, emphasizing biological causes, was later termed melancholic depression.

Symptoms of Melancholic Depression

Melancholic depression exhibits various symptoms that may differ from person to person, and the severity of these symptoms can also vary.

Psychological State in Melancholic Depression:

Individuals cannot derive pleasure from previously enjoyed activities and remain unresponsive to environmental changes and pleasant stimuli.

A distinctive feature is the profound and persistent depressive mood. Even in the face of life’s beauties, individuals remain unchanged in their despondent emotional state.

There is an excessive sense of guilt, with individuals irrationally blaming themselves.

Depressive symptoms are particularly severe in the morning, and their intensity may fluctuate throughout the day. Sleep patterns are disrupted, with individuals often waking up earlier than usual.

Physical State in Melancholic Depression:

There is observable psychomotor retardation, indicating a slowing of thoughts and reduced physical movements.

Melancholic depression affects individuals’ eating patterns, often leading to a significant loss of appetite and rapid weight loss.

Treatment of Melancholic Depression

Diagnosis of melancholic depression is made by psychiatrists through a detailed evaluation of the individual’s symptoms. Psychiatrists determine suitable treatment methods based on their assessments. Melancholic depression can be treated with psychotherapy and medication.




Aydemir, Ö. (2007) On the existence of depression subtypes. Türkiye Klinikleri J Int Med Sci, 3(29), 19-23.

Türkçapar, H. (2004) Melancholic depression. Klinik Psikiyatri, 20-31.


Our Current Psychology Publications

Do you need help? Let's get to the size.