The melancholy refers to a feeling characterized by a state of deep sadness, which manifests in the people who suffer it, discouragement, despondency and apathy before things and life.
The melancholy, in this sense, produces a tendency towards sad and pessimistic thoughts, a permanent sense of handicap and often give much importance to own deficiencies, as well as loss of interest in affectivity.
Although in some cases melancholy is understood as a state of mind, it can also be a sensation that manifests itself in certain moments or situations without becoming a permanent feeling, which would be closer to depression.
The specialists consider that, as well as the sadness and other emotions, happens to be pathological when it alters the normal thought of the person and affects the social performance.
For example: it is considered commonplace for a person to feel melancholy on a rainy afternoon and stay at home looking at old photographs.
Unlike when it is a repetitive behavior throughout the days and the subject leaves its social life, as well as its obligations, then the melancholy would happen to be considered a type of depression, and in certain case, would require treatment to appease.
It is a vague, permanent and profound sadness that may have been produced for physical or moral reasons. The person who suffers from melancholy does not enjoy the things of life nor does he feel comfortable with it or what is happening around him.
It is considered a disease today, and can be alleviated with the use of therapy and some drugs.
The treatment is based on psychological analysis, in order to determine the internal causes of it.
On the other hand, the drugs are responsible for alleviating the physical symptoms that can cause this disorder, such as stomach upset, headache, among others.
The word melancholy, as such, comes from the Latin melancholĭa, as well as the Greek μελαγχολία (melancholy), which means ‘black bile’ or ‘atrabilis’.
This denomination has its base in the theory of the four humors, conceived by the ancient Greeks that explained the source of the illnesses and the changes of temperament in the people.
Then, depending on the major influence of one of the body fluids in the individual’s body, they could be classified as blood (blood), phlegmatic (phlegm), choleric (yellow bile) and melancholic (black bile).
Therefore, if there was predominance of black bile in the person, this caused him the sad, dejected and apathetic behavior, and the state of nostalgia that characterizes the melancholic individuals.
Treatment and consequences of not treating
Fortunately, the advances that have arisen in the field of mental illnesses have generated that today it is possible to treat the melancholy, therefore, to improve the life’s quality of the people who suffer it.
Psychologists and psychiatrists consider it a disease that, depending on the case, can be treated with therapy, medication or both.
By employing therapy as a treatment, the practitioner and his or her patient may come to discover internal causes, that is, the factors that developed the melancholy. It could be caused by innumerable reasons, such as the death of a relative, a love’s breakup, failure at work or career, or among others, could be the triggers of the melancholic state of the person.
There’s why, medications are sometimes recommended to control and reduce the physical symptoms that are usually generated because of this condition, such as headache, upset stomach, nausea, and so on.
Failure to treat it in time can lead to severe depression.
Sigmund Freud “Mourning and Melancholia”
The celebrated and controversial father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, published in 1915 a writing called “Mourning and Melancholia”.
Through this, Freud develops a similarity of the mourning that was considered normal and the melancholy seen as pathology.
Thus, it analyzes certain aspects in common, such as the feeling of pain, the lack of interest in connecting with the outside world, the detachment of one’s own feelings and a decrease in productivity.
It should be noted that both psychological states arise after having lost an object, a loved one or after the fading of some ideal.
In order to better understand the similarity of both cases, the characteristic aspects of each case must be known more deeply, which are the following:
- Mourning is defined as the reaction to the loss (which may or may not be a person) and it is a conscious situation, represented by the constant reflection of the absence of the beloved object.
- Melancholy originates from lack of acceptance in the loss, from resignation to the lack of the beloved object.
- The mourning is to overcome the loss for an indeterminate period of time, after which it is possible to get rid of the discomfort and there is the possibility of moving forward.
- Melancholy distorts the situation and makes the absence a personal issue, which affects, among other things, self-esteem.
Melancholy, however, is not only a pathological duel; It is also differentiated by the nature of the lost object. Then Freud points out that the lost object of the melancholic person is the Self.
Hence the consideration of melancholy as “narcissistic psychoneurosis”, since it is a rupture of the function of narcissism.
Freud considered that, from the moment that melancholy established itself as a permanent feeling in the individual, it became a pathology, since it prevented the normal development of their daily activities, complicating their life on a social, work and productive level.
Hence, today it is treated as a disease and it is appealed to the use of antidepressant drugs for its treatment.
Melancholy in the arts.
This feeling has been one of the most important axes in the arts, such as literature, painting and music.
In the latter, for example, there was the Grunge movement, in the 90’s, which created a kind of cult towards melancholy and disenchantment.
In fact, the American band Smashing Pumpinks published an album titled “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” (A game of words that could be translated like “the melancholy and the infinite sadness”).
Many musical genres are based on melancholy, as is the case with an important fraction of the operatic repertoire (especially of Italian origin) and pop music, however different they may seem to the naked eye.
As in 2011, the film Melancholia by Lars Von Trier premiered, whose main theme is precisely the melancholy of the protagonist.
It is not difficult to understand why, since art is always in direct contact with our emotions and many people rely on music to overcome difficult moments of life, such as a breakup.
However, a song of melancholy tone cannot be very beneficial to anybody, because the incessant lamentation before an irremediable fact is a potential beginning of a depression.
Melancholy trailer – Video
LaDefinicion.de Melancolia (Spanish Version)