Historically, the status of melancholia in psychiatry and clinical psychology has been in a state of flux. Its status as a specific depressive subtype or a more severe depression has been hotly debated among researchers, scholars, and clinicians. For approximately 200 years, a binary model dominated, distinguishing between endogenous depressions, or, as referenced in the Bible in Corinthians, depressions that came “from God,” and, by contrast, those “of the world” (i.e., more reactive depressions triggered by stressful events). Whereas the first type of depression (also termed vital, type A, endogenomorphic, and melancholic) was captured in early diagnostic manuals, it became marginalized in the 1980 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III), published by the American Psychiatric Association. This decision stemmed from the ...

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