Melancholy in psychology: what it is, causes, symptoms and how to manage it

Many times we are left clinging to a relationship that broke up, a job that was lost, a dream that could not be realized. We are dejected by that feeling of loss that invades us and makes life difficult for us. This can happen to us when we lose something or someone we love very much and going through the pain takes time. However, there are people who cannot overcome the sadness that a loss of this type implies and live with the same feeling for years. Maybe it has happened to you or you know someone who lives this way. Do you want to know more about this? In this Psychology-Online article, we will provide you with information about What is melancholy in psychology, what are its causes, its symptoms and how to manage it.

What is melancholy

First of all, we will start by explaining what melancholy is. From psychology, Melancholy is known as a state of persistent sadness that lasts over time due to the loss of something or someone. very important in life. It is important to differentiate melancholy from grief: while grief has a specific time that varies according to each person, Melancholy can last for years, decades, or even a lifetime.

Likewise, we must also know how to distinguish between melancholy and depression since the latter consists of the loss of desire in all areas of life. In other words, a person with a depressed state has lost the will to live for various reasons, while someone who is melancholic may not feel the desire to have another romantic partner due to a separation that occurred 15 years ago. In this article, you will find the .

What causes melancholy?

Melancholy can have serious consequences both at the family, social and work levels. What is the cause of melancholy? Next, we will describe the main causes associated with the emergence of a state of melancholy:

  • Death of loved ones
  • Breakups loving
  • Losses of work
  • Educational failures
  • Disappointments about important people
  • Imitation of family members’ behaviors

The causes described here are general, although it is possible that there are other reasons that trigger a melancholic state.

Symptoms of melancholy

What is it to be a melancholic person? What is it to be melancholic? Melancholy has some manifestations that are important to consider when detecting this clinical condition. We will divide the symptoms into two groups: cognitive symptoms and behavioral symptoms.

  • Cognitive symptoms: These are those ideas that arise in those who suffer from melancholy. Here we must include the feeling of guilt, catastrophic thoughts about life, loss of interest by areas of life related to what was lost, among others.
  • Behavioral symptoms: They consist of those behaviors exhibited by people who go through melancholy. At this point we will highlight isolation, loneliness, avoidance of activities that are linked to loss, eating problems, sleep disturbances, among others.

It should be noted that the presence of one or more symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person suffers from melancholy. The diagnosis must be made by a mental health professional since he or she will be in charge of carrying out treatment appropriate to the person’s characteristics.

How to manage it

How is melancholy cured? Due to the characteristics that melancholy presents in terms of its main causes and symptoms, one of the aspects that we must consider lies in the possible ways of addressing it. As a result of this, we will present some ways that can be useful in dealing with this problem:

Psychological treatment

Therapy can help us overcome certain situations that arise throughout our lives. There are several types of therapy, such as the and the most important.

Regarding short-term therapies, we will mention that they focus on problem solving through various techniques that will seek for the person to gradually recover the desire for what they have lost in the past.

On the other hand, psychoanalysis aims to find the origin of the conflicts that a person may have in their life. In this way, this type of therapy will focus on locating the cause that triggered the melancholy to modify the person’s behavior in situations that involve what was lost.

Psychiatric medication

There are some medications that act in the brain and have the ability to produce changes in neuronal connections. In the case of melancholy, special emphasis is placed on areas linked to adrenaline and joy. This allows a person’s mood to be different in the area that has suffered a loss. However, this type of medication should always be prescribed by a health professional who evaluates the patient’s characteristics and observes the evolution of the treatment.

Here you will find the . We can also support them from the .

What to say to a melancholic person? In these articles, we explain and .

This article is merely informative, at Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

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  • Freud, S. (1915). Grief and melancholy. Sigmund Freud Complete Works, volume XIV, Amorrortu Editores, 5th reprint.
  • Garcés Giraldo, PA (2019). Melancholy and depression clinic: From disorder to symptom. University of Antioquia, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences. Department of Psychology, Medellín.
  • Ortiz Zavalla, GL, Berdullas, P., Malamud, M. (2013). The object in melancholy. Research Yearbook Magazine, 20 (1), 157-161.
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