Author: James M. Toolan
There has always been agreement among clinicians about the phenomena that characterize the psychiatric condition which we call depression or sometimes melancholia. The characteristic symptoms are: a sad, despairing mood, decrease of mental productivity and reduction of drive; retardation or agitation in the field of expressive motor responses. These might be called the primary symptoms of depression. There are also secondary symptoms—feelings of helplessness; hypochondriacal preoccupations; feelings of depersonalization; obsessive-compulsive behavior; ideas of self-accusation and self-depreciation; nihilistic delusions; paranoid delusions; hallucinations; suicidal ruminations and tendencies.