Types of depression: somatogenous, endogenous or exogenous

Somatogenous depressions are depressions that sometimes follow physical illnesses such as: cancer, mononucleosis, flu, etc. Endogenous depressions have their origins in changes within the organism, mainly in the brain. Exogenous are depressions whose origin is psychological and which occur after external traumatizing events or in immature and sensitive personalities.

Somatogenous depression

Somatogenous depression requires no special explanation. This also includes depression that originates from injuries, for example as a result of a traffic accident. Severely disabled people also sometimes have difficulty forming a positive image of their mutilated body and often experience depression that should not be taken lightly.

Endogenous depression

This depression originates within the body. It appears to be more common in certain families than in others, which may indicate the influence of heredity. Nowadays it is almost certain that biochemical disturbances in the brain or disturbances in the glands with internal secretion (liver, thyroid) play a role in this condition. However, it cannot yet be stated with certainty that these are the true causes.

This type of depression usually occurs without triggering factors, i.e. without external elements or events that can explain the occurrence of the depression. And even when the depressed person refers to external events, they usually turn out to be minor compared to the severity of the depression . The sick person cannot actually find a conclusive external explanation for the depression he is experiencing.

It happens that endogenous depression disappears spontaneously. We call this the phenomenon of spontaneous remission . The sick person recovers and his personality emerges from the depressive phase unscathed. However, the patient usually relapses and some may experience several depressive episodes per year. With these recidivism, despair and mental pain grows.

Please note: endogenous depression must be treated with care:

  • because it is painful for the sick person himself, who does not understand what is happening to him;
  • because it is heavy for the environment to bear,
  • because there is a risk of suicide: the sick person feels so powerless and desperate that he almost always has suicidal thoughts. The risk of suicide is much greater with endogenous depression than with other forms of depression.

Treatment of endogenous depression

The endogenous depression requires medical treatment, either:

  • with antidepressants of the tricyclic genre or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or the more recent select
  • tive inhibitors of serotonin reuptake;
  • with lithium for manic depression ;
  • with electroshock (in urgent cases when the risk of suicide is high).

The treatment must last long enough to restore the patient’s balance.

In older people, a special form of endogenous depression is found, called ” involutive (or regressive) depression “. This depression can have several aspects, but most often the older person settles into a state of apathy , an emotional entrenchment that is too often considered inherent to age. If no effort is made to comfort and reassure the person, there is a danger that he or she will become completely introverted, which can ultimately lead to senile dementia .

Exogenous depression

This type of depression occurs as a result of a traumatizing event or emotional shock such as a death, a divorce, a loss of work, a promotion, a disappointment or sentimental break, a change of environment such as a move. In that case, the depression is tied to the loss of a loved one or a situation in which one feels safe. The intense sadness that results is a normal reaction. People are going through a period of mourning, so to speak. Such a mourning period may last six months to a year: it depends on the importance that the disappeared person or the situation had in the eyes of the mourner, as well as on the quality of the relationship.

One can also lose something other than an object of love: for example, one’s self-esteem or self-confidence. The situation that often arises at this time is that of loss of employment. People become unemployed, motivation disappears, income and responsibilities decrease. People often have to accept less pleasant work or are simply retired early. Some of your self-esteem falls away. “No longer working” is felt as “having become useless” and the retiree’s self-image takes a nasty hit. In such cases, depression is a more or less normal and understandable reaction to a traumatizing event.

For a sensitive or neurotic personality, grief will be difficult to bear with the risk that it will continue. There is a chance that the grief in this case will cause more severe depression. In other words, abnormal grief is grief that lasts longer than normal. Years later, the sadness is still as strong and vivid as at the beginning.
Life no longer has the upper hand and that can lead to a true cult of the deceased. This phenomenon is common in an elderly person who loses his partner and is left alone. Often the necessary vital impetus to overcome the crisis and enter into new relationships is lacking.