Mind

Melancholia In 100 Words

Neuroskeptic iconNeuroskepticBy NeuroskepticJul 5, 2011 3:00 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

The British Journal of Psychiatry have a regular series called "In 100 Words", which produces some gems. This month they have Melanchola in 100 Words, featuring perhaps the most influential musician you haven't heard of, Robert Johnson.

I got stones in my pathway/And my road seems dark at^ night/I have pains in my heart/They have taken my appetite.

Robert Johnson, known as the King of the Delta blues singers,^ distilled into these lines the essence of severe depressive^ illness – somatic ills, fear and suspicion, emotional^ and physical pain, nocturnal troubles and struggle against obstacles.^ The words are one with the powerful, haunting music. ICD-10^ and DSM-IV have their place, but poets have often been there^ before us, and done a better job. We can all learn from Robert^ Johnson, born just 100 years ago.I've previously written about the blues and what shade of blue they were talking about, here. But this actually isn't the first Melancholia in 100 Words to appear in the BJP. Here's another one from 2009

Melancholia is a classical episodic depressive disorder that^ combines mood, psychomotor, cognitive and vegetative components^ with high suicide risk. In the present psychiatric classification^ it is buried as a modifier in both bipolar and unipolar depressions.^ It is hardly used to characterise patients in the clinic or^ research.

The syndrome is frequently recognised in delusional^ and agitated depression, and in the elderly. Cortisol or sleep^ EEG abnormalities are prognostically helpful. Melancholia is^ particularly responsive to tricyclic antidepressants and electroconvulsive^ therapy but not to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors^ or psychotherapy. Recognising melancholia as a distinct disorder^ improves clinical care and research.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.