involutional-melancholia

Involutional melancholia

Involutional melancholia or involutional depression is a traditional name for a psychiatric disorder affecting mainly elderly or late middle-aged people, usually accompanied with paranoia. It is classically defined as 'depression of gradual onset occurring during the involutional years (40-55 in women and 50-65 in men), with symptoms of marked anxiety, agitation, restlessness, somatic concerns, hypochondriasis, occasional somatic or nihilistic delusions, insomnia, anorexia, and weight loss.

Literature review

Emil Kraepelin (1907) was the first to describe Involutional melancholia as a distinct clinical entity separate from the manic-depressive psychosis. Dreyfus (1907) challenged his concepts of origin and he thought it to be endogenous in origin. Kirby (1909) described it as a distinctive syndrome, as did Hoch and MacCurdy in 1922. Titley (1936) described the premorbid personality and narrow range of interests, etc., Kallman (1959) found incidence of schizophrenia in the families of such patients.

Characteristic symptoms

Etiology

It was first thought to be of acquired conditions till as early as 1907, when Dreyfus challenged it to be of endogenous origin after studying 85 of Kraepelin's original patients.

Treatments

Involutional melancholia is classically treated with antidepressants and mood elevators.

References

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