Friday, January 27, 2012

History of psychotic depression

One of the earliest about depression can be found in Homer’s Iliad in the 9th century BC. Zilboorg points out ‘the Homeric tradition was theurgic: man becomes mentally ill because the gods take his mind away.’

Hippocrates, in the fourth century BC, included melancholia in his classification of psychiatric disorders.

Description of psychotic depression can be found in ancient texts including the Bible. In the book of Job, Job depressed and feels that he has fallen from high status and has lost prestige.

He has delusions of poverty and the nihilistic delusion that his children are dead and he believes that he is giving off unpleasant smell.

In nineteenth century psychopathology, disorders of thought were identified in patients classified as manic depressive insanity, involuntional and melancholic depression, dementia praecox, and dementia paralytica.

They recognized melancholia as circular insanity, as manic depressive illness and in the past few decades as endogenous, endogenomorphic, autonomous or psychotic depression.

By late nineteenth century, psychotic had come to indicate conditions in which the patient manifested a disturbance in higher-level mental functions, including language, orientation, perception and thinking.

During the first half of this century, psychiatrist delineated melancholia, and the term ‘psychotic depression’ was applied rather loosely to melancholia associated with hallucinations, delusions or suicidality.

In 1970s, effective doses of tricyclic antidepressants failed to relive psychotic patients, although were very effective in the nonpsychotic depressed.

Simultaneously, hypercortisolemia was shown to be a characteristic finding in melancholia and the dexamethasone suppression test was its effective marker.
History of psychotic depression

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