Melancholic depression is a serious mental health problem that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities and relationships. It affects how teenagers think, feel, and behave, and it can cause emotional, functional, and physical problems. Unlike atypical depression, melancholic depression is not improved by positive events in the person’s life.
Melancholic depression is a particularly severe form of major depressive disorder characterized by persistent feelings of extreme sadness and hopelessness. The American Psychiatric Association defines this type of depression as “major depressive disorder with melancholic features.” It is most common among those who are hospitalized for depression.
In addition to ongoing, intense feelings of sadness and despair, melancholia symptoms include anxiety or irritability, sleeping too much or too little, loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable, suicidal thoughts, significant weight loss, and persistent feelings of excessive guilt. Because melancholic depression is usually worse in the early part of the day, it is sometimes referred to as “morning depression.”
Clinical and experiential therapeutic modalities have been shown to be very effective for melancholic depression, as well as all types of depressive disorders. This approach to treatment increases self-esteem, provides coping skills for handling stressful events, and helps people replace negative beliefs and behaviors with positive, healthy ones.