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Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 1516-4446
JURUENA, Mario F.; CALIL, Helena M.; FLECK, Marcelo P. and DEL PORTO, Jose A.. Melancholia in Latin American studies: a distinct mood disorder for the ICD-11. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2011, vol.33, suppl.1, pp. s37-s47. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462011000500005.
OBJECTIVE: Melancholic depression is a lifetime diagnosis, typically with recurrent episodes. Melancholia, a syndrome with a long history and distinctive psychopathological features, is differentiated from major depression by the DSM-IV specifiers and partly described in the International Classification of Diseases - 10th edition. Within the present classification, it is frequently seen in severely ill patients with major depression and bipolar disorder. Nevertheless, it has a distinctive psychopathology and biological homogeneity in clinical experience and laboratory test markers, and it is differentially responsive to specific treatment interventions according to international studies. The objective of this study is to review the literature published by Latin American authors about Melancholia. METHOD: We conducted a systematic search to identify scientific literature published by Latin American authors gathering information relevant to the revision of the classification of mental and behavioral disorders in patients with melancholic depression of the International Classification of Diseases - 10th edition. The review was specifically focused on literature from Brazil and Latin America in order to examine the specific Latin American contribution for the study of melancholia as a distinct entity. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Melancholia can be identified as a separate mood disorder with unique psychopathology and psychoneuroendocrinology, worthy of separate attention in the classification systems. We therefore suggest that melancholia be positioned as a distinct, identifiable mood disorder that requires specific treatment.
Keywords : Latin America; Depressive disorder; Diagnosis; International Classification of Diseases; Evaluation studies.