Exogenous and endogenous depression

Depression is an increasingly commonly diagnosed mental disorder. Suffer from depression are not only adults, but and children (in the past, according to the modern classification of diseases, it is called a depressive disorder or conduct as cyclothymia). And depression really is not just a “bad mood” or a reaction to life difficulties (although it can be provoked by them) – it is a disease that has clearly defined criteria and requires complex treatment.               

Previously, it was believed that a pronounced manifestation of two of the triad of signs was sufficient to define a depressive disorder : 

  1. decreased mood,
  2. motor retardation, 
  3. mental retardation.

The described triad is a classic depressive symptom complex : a depressed person has a persistently low mood background, his movements are slowed down, and mental activity is lower than usual.  

However, from a modern point of view, depression is a much broader concept. In modern classifiers, the criteria for diagnosing depression stand out much more, and they include both psychiatric itself and neurological, therapeutic, psychological symptoms.   

The division into endogenous and exogenous depression, which once existed in domestic practice, is not so popular today , since the definition of endogenous depression is very contradictory. The essence of such a division lies in the name itself: “endogenous” means “internal”, originating “from within”. That is, the development of endogenous depression is based not on external causes (for example, very severe stress), but on some internal ones. Sometimes, this concept can be used to describe a depressive symptom complex , with its inherent decreased mood, tolerance to environmental stimuli, daily mood swings, sleep disorders and early involuntary awakenings, severe inhibition. Sometimes signs of endogenous depression are complaints of bodily malaise: most often these are chest pains that have a completely precise localization. It is in view of the last moment, of the listed symptoms, that people suffering from depressive disorders, most often, first of all, come to general practitioners for help . Is it worth it to say that the prescribed symptomatic treatment in this case does not bring the expected relief at all …                             

Exogenous depression is a disorder caused by circumstances or events in the external environment. Not whether the external stimulus of the disorder could be and not happen. However, sometimes it develops so that, having arisen initially as exogenous, depression receives its further development regardless of external causes, becoming already an endogenous state. And depression, which meets the criteria of endogeneity , develops against the background of external stress factors (after all, few modern people are completely free from stressful experiences and various shocks).            

Thus, exogenous and endogenous depression is an attempt to classify this group of disorders according to their genesis (origin, nature of causes). In addition, according to the classifier, depressions are subdivided according to their severity into mild ( subdepression ), moderate (moderate) and severe.         

One way or another, regardless of the cause that served as the source of the development of depression, at the slightest suspicion of its development , you should seek specialized professional help. It is better if it is a psychiatrist – a specialist who is able to accurately determine the correct diagnosis and, if necessary, prescribe an effective treatment. Remember: depression is a deadly disease. It is she who is the cause of 70% of suicides committed in the world.        

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