Synonyms in the broader sense

  • mania
  • cyclothymia
  • Depressive symptoms
  • antidepressants
  • antidepressant
  • depressions
  • delusion
  • bipolar disorder
  • melancholy

English: depression


Depression, like mania, is a so-called mood disorder. Under mood here is the so-called basic mood to understand. It is not a matter of disturbance of emotional outbursts or other upsurges of emotions.

In psychiatry, there is a classification according to the so-called severity of depression. One distinguishes the mild, moderate and severe depressive episode.
But who is depressed now?

For information on the diagnosis and treatment of depression, see Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression!


The first onset of depression has the highest probability between the 35th and 40th year of life. After the age of 60, only about 10% of patients become ill.

The likelihood of depression during life is about 12% in men and about 20% in women.

The so-called lifetime risk is around 17%.

The risk of developing an additional illness besides depression (the so-called comorbidity risk) is up to 75%.
The most common additional illnesses are here:

  • Anxiety Disorder (50%)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • eating disorder
  • substance abuse
  • social phobia
  • substance dependence
  • sleep disorders
  • sexual disorders
  • somatoform disorders
  • Mania (in the form of a manic - depressive illness)
  • personality disorders


The typical characteristics that a person must possess, in order to be psychologically depressed, are the following:

  • depressive mood
  • Feeling of numbness
  • anxiety
  • listlessness
  • social withdrawal, social phobia
  • Insomnia / sleep disorders
  • difficulty concentrating
  • delusion
  • hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • eating disorder

Depressed mood

The mood is "depressed". This can be experienced and reported by the individual patients as very different. Surely the simple sadness is very common.

Feeling of numbness

Far more often, however, the so-called "feeling of insensitivity" is described. This is an extremely distressing state of emotional paralysis. For the patient there is no event that allows him to adequately react as normal to things that would normally move him very much.

It is therefore important to note that it is both negative and positive events that no longer reach people with depressive moods.


Furthermore, the person suffering from depression faces massive anxiety. These fears can revolve around all areas of life. But the most common concern is the fear for the future (one's own, but also that of a closer environment). This anxiety is intensified by an almost permanently existing feeling in which the patient feels overwhelmed with all tasks brought to him. Partly, social phobias can also develop.


Listlessness: Simplest things, as well as already the doing of the everyday housework or even the morning getting up and the body care are experienced as almost impracticable. Whenever the depressive engages in a thing that requires drive, he experiences himself almost exhausted at the same moment as physically exhausted.

Social withdrawal

Caring for social contacts also becomes an insurmountable task. There is a clear so-called "social withdrawal". This in turn means that the patient can become more and more lonely (socially isolated - social isolation / phobia).

Major Depressive Disorder | Clinical Presentation (February 2020).

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