Endogenous Depression is a sub-class of clinical depression or major depressive disorder, which is a mood disorder. The meaning of the term endogenous is “from within,” thus, it can be concluded that this form of depression refers to depression from within. From the scientific aspect, the nature of this form of depression is primarily biological and genetic. The opposite of this form of depression is exogenous depression, which is a form of depression that occurs as a result of reactions to stressful life events.
Patient suffering from this form of depression are basically suffering from major depressive disorder, which is non-psychotic and resistant to treatment. Abnormal behavior of the endogenous opioid system is the primary characteristic of this form of depression. It is believed that distinction determines the treatment options that can be effectively utilized for this form of depression, and thus, they can vary.
What Is The Difference Between Endogenous Depression & Exogenous Depression?
People suffering from the endogenous form of depression experience the symptoms of this form of depression quite unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. Anhedonia, feeling guilty and worthless are among the other characteristics of this form of depression. Anhedonia refers to not being able to derive interest or pleasure from activities that were once enjoyed by the individual, such as exercise, hobbies, or sex.
Although these two types of depression tend to overlap significantly, however, it is usually a highly stressful situation that triggers the exogenous form of depression. Physical symptoms, such as changes in eating or sleeping habits, do not occur in the exogenous form of depression. Although both types of depression may be precipitated by stressful events, the chances of relapsing in endogenous depression are much greater.
What Are The Symptoms Of Endogenous Depression?
Just like people suffering from major depressive disorder, anhedonia along with feeling guilty, helpless, hopeless, hateful to oneself, and worthless is experienced also be people suffering from the endogenous form of depression. This form of depression is also accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- Changes in appetite leading to corresponding weight gain or loss
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Hypersomnia or insomnia
- Irritability and difficulty concentrating
- Social isolation
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
In more severe cases, psychotic symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, may also be experienced by patients as well.
What Is Involved In The Diagnosis & Treatment Of Endogenous Depression?
Since this form of depression is a sub-class of major depressive disorder, it can be diagnosed and treated pretty much in the same way as major depressive disorder is. Patients are asked a series of questions about any substance abuse issues, their medical history, and symptoms by a clinician or mental health professional. They may also rule out any underlying causes like a hormone imbalance by performing lab tests.
Usually, medication, in particular, a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI)-type antidepressant, is the first option that is considered to treat the endogenous form of depression. Some form of talking therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy may also be included in the extra treatments. In more serious cases, the mental health professional may also employ antipsychotic drugs or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Endogenous depression is a very distinct form of depression, but it is not uncommon to suffer from it. Fortunately, since the diagnosis and treatment is the same as that of major depressive disorder, you can rid yourself of it.