Melancholic depression is often considered to be a biologically based and particularly severe form of depression. Treatment involves antidepressants, electroconvulsive therapy, or other empirically supported treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy for depression. A 2008 analysis of a large study of patients with unipolar major depression found a rate of 23.5% for melancholic features. It was the first form of depression extensively studied, and many of the early symptom checklists for depression reflect this. The incidence of melancholic depression has been found to increase when the temperature and/or sunlight are low. According to the DSM-IV, the "melancholic features" specifier may be applied to the following only:
The causes of melancholic-type major depressive disorder are believed to be mostly due to biological factors; some may have inherited the disorder from their parents. Sometimes stressful situations can trigger episodes of melancholic depression, though this is a contributing cause rather than a necessary or sufficient cause. It has also been found that melancholic symptoms are common in people who suffer from bipolar I disorder and may often be present in people with bipolar II disorder. People with psychotic symptoms are also thought to be more susceptible to this disorder. It is frequent in old age and often unnoticed by some physicians who perceive the symptoms to be a part of dementia. Major depressive disorder, melancholic or otherwise, is a separate condition that can be comorbid with dementia in the elderly.
^Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Text Revision. Arlington VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 2008. pp. 419–420. ISBN978-0-89042-025-6.
^ abMcGrath, Patrick; Ashan Khan, Madhukar Trivedi, Jonathan Stewart, David W Morris, Stephen Wisniewski, Sachiko Miyahara, Andrew Nierenberg, Maurizio Fava, John Rush, (2008). "Response to a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (Citalopram) in Major Depressive Disorder with Melancholic Features: A STAR*D Report". Journal of Clinical Psychiatry69: 1847–1855. doi:10.4088/jcp.v69n1201.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)
^Luty, Suzanne; Carter, Janet; McKenzie, Janice (2007). "Randomised controlled trial of interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression". The British Journal of Psychiatry190: 496–502. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.106.024729.
^Radua, Joaquim; Pertusa, Alberto; Cardoner, Narcis (28 February 2010). "Climatic relationships with specific clinical subtypes of depression". Psychiatry Research175 (3): 217–220. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2008.10.025. PMID20045197.