Melancholia a mood disorder of non-specific Depression, characterized by low levels of both enthusiasm and eagerness for activity.
Melancholic Depression or Depression with Melancholic features:
one of the following symptoms
- anhedonia (the inability to find pleasure in positive things)
- lack of mood reactivity (i.e. mood does not improve in response to positive events)
at least three of the following symptoms
- depression that is subjectively different from grief or loss
- severe weight loss or loss of appetite
- psychomotor agitation or retardation
- early morning awakening
- guilt that is excessive
- worse mood in the morning
Melancholic features apply to an episode of Depression that occurs as part of either Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder I or Bipolar Disorder II.
Melancholic Depression is often considered to be a biologically based and particularly severe form of Depression.
Sometimes stressful situations can trigger episodes of Melancholic Depression, though this is a contributing cause rather than a necessary or sufficient cause.
Quotes from an interview with Lars Von Trier on the film Melancholia
Where is she, mentally?
She is longing for shipwrecks and sudden death, it must be because it seems more real than this phony world? The melancholic isn’t just loging. She is longing for pathos and drama. She is longing for something of true value. It may be that there’s not ruth at all to long for, but the longing itself is true. Just like pain is true. We feel it inside. It’s part of reality.
The wedding is her last attempt to fight her way back into life instead of longing herself out of it. When you’re being cured of a Depression, you’re forced to instigate some rituals. Take a five minute walk, for instance. And by going through the motions, the rituals will accumulate some meaning as well.
Fake it till you make it?
That what she’s trying to do. Her longings are too great. Her hankering for truth is too colossal. I think that goes for Melancholiacs in general. We have high demand for truth.
Melancholiacs will usually be more level-headed than ordinary people in a disastrous situation, partly because … they have nothing to lose.