depression (de-presh´un)

1. Reduction of the level of functioning. 2. A hollow or sunken area. 3. Displacement of a part downward or inward. 4. A temporary mental state or chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, despair, low self-esteem, and self-reproach; accompanying signs include psychomotor retardation or less frequently agitation, withdrawal from social contact, and vegetative states such as loss of appetite and insomnia.dejection (1); depressive reaction, depressive syndrome; [L. depressio, fr. deprimo, to press down]
agitated d. d. with excitement and restlessness.
anaclitic d. impairment of an infant's physical, social, and intellectual development following separation from its mother or from a mothering surrogate; characterized by listlessness, withdrawal, and anorexia. See also hospitalism.
endogenous d. , endogenomorphic d. a descriptive syndrome for a cluster of symptoms and features occurring in the absence of external precipitants and believed to have a biologic origin; e.g., anhedonia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, diurnal mood variation with increased severity in the morning, early morning awakening and insomnia in the middle of the night, weight loss, self-reproach or guilt, and lack of reactivity to one's environment.nonreactive d; Annually, approximately 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from depression. Major strides in treatment of endogenous depression and other mood disorders have been made since the 1970s, in large measure because of psychopharmacological advances. The tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, effective in reversing only a fraction of clinical depressions, have been joined by the serotonin and dopamine re-uptake inhibitors, classes of drugs that act to increase the amounts of those neurotransmitters available in the synapses. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil), are widely prescribed, and some 6 million people in the U.S. have taken Prozac since its introduction in 1987. SSRIs also have scored successes against panic attacks, bulimia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and may alleviate shyness, chronic feelings of emptiness, and fear of rejection. Depression can be masked by substance abuse (depressives may attempt to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs), and among the elderly is often confused with senile dementia. Timely diagnosis may be critical, because those suffering a major depressive episode run a higher risk than average of attempting suicide (the overall rate of suicides in the U.S. is 20 per 100,000, mainly in the 15-35 age group). Of the traditional talk therapies, the one that has demonstrated greatest success in reversing depression is cognitive therapy, developed by Aaron Beck. Refined methods of electroconvulsive shock therapy (ECT) have been used with increasing frequency since the 1980s, generally for cases that do not respond to other treatment. To minimize memory loss, a barbiturate is administered before the procedure, and muscle relaxants lessen convulsions. With severely depressed patients, ECT has a cure rate of 80%.
exogenous d. similar signs and symptoms as endogenous d. but the precipitating factors are social or environmental and outside the individual.
involutional d. depression or psychosis first occurring in the involutional years (40 to 55 for women, 50 to 65 for men).
lingual salivary gland d. an indentation on the lingual surface of the mandible within which a portion of the submandibular gland lies; it appears radiographically as a sharply circumscribed ovoid radiolucency between the mandibular canal and the inferior border of the posterior mandible.Stafne bone cyst, static bone cyst;
major d. a mental d. characterized by depressed or irritable mood, pervasive loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, sleep and appetite disturbance, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt. See endogenous d., exogenous d., bipolar disorder.
nonreactive d. endogenous d
d. of optic disk excavation of optic disc
pacchionian d.'s granular pits, under pit
postdrive d. slowing of the heart, often with a rate-dependent blockade of A-V and/or V-A conduction following rapid atrial stimulation.
pterygoid d. pterygoid fovea
reactive d. a psychological state occasioned directly by an intensely sad external situation (frequently loss of a loved person), relieved by the removal of the external situation (e.g., reunion with a loved person).
spreading d. a decrease of activity evoked by local stimulation of the cerebral cortex and spreading slowly over the whole cortex.


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