Endogenous Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options


Endogenous depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Unlike situational or reactive depression, which is caused by a life event or external factor, endogenous depression has an internal or biological cause.

It is important to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for endogenous depression to help those who are struggling with this condition.

Causes of Endogenous Depression

The exact causes of endogenous depression are not known, but research suggests that it may be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors.

Genetic: Studies have shown that endogenous depression can run in families. Individuals with a family history of this condition have a higher risk of developing it themselves.

Biological: Endogenous depression may be caused by an imbalance in neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. Specifically, a deficiency in serotonin and norepinephrine is associated with endogenous depression.

Environmental: Although endogenous depression is not directly caused by environmental factors, they can contribute to the condition. Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one or financial problems, can trigger depressive episodes in individuals who are already susceptible to the condition.

Symptoms of Endogenous Depression

The symptoms of endogenous depression can vary from person to person, but they generally include:

– Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
– Loss of interest and pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable
– Fatigue and lack of energy
– Difficulty sleeping, including trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
– Changes in appetite and weight, either losing or gaining weight
– Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
– Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
– Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Treatment Options for Endogenous Depression

The goal of treatment for endogenous depression is to alleviate symptoms and improve the individual’s quality of life. The most common treatment options include:

Therapy: Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a common treatment for endogenous depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) are two types of therapy that have been shown to be effective in treating depression.

Medication: Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), can be prescribed by a psychiatrist to help alleviate symptoms.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): ECT is a treatment option for individuals who do not respond to medication or therapy. This is a procedure that involves sending small electrical currents through the brain to trigger brief seizures, which can help regulate neurotransmitter levels and improve symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes: Engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and developing healthy sleeping habits can help improve symptoms of depression.


Endogenous depression is a serious mental health condition that requires prompt and effective treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.

By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for endogenous depression, we can provide better support and care for those who are affected by this condition. With the right treatment, individuals with endogenous depression can manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.


FAQs about Endogenous Depression

What is Endogenous Depression?

Endogenous Depression is a type of depression that occurs without any clear trigger or external cause. It is believed to be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and tends to be more severe and long-lasting than other types of depression.

What are the symptoms of Endogenous Depression?

The symptoms of Endogenous Depression are similar to other types of depression and may include feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating. However, these symptoms may persist for longer periods and may not be related to any specific event or situation.

How is Endogenous Depression Treated?

The treatment for Endogenous Depression typically involves a combination of medication and therapy. Medications such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers are used to balance chemicals in the brain, while therapy can help patients develop coping skills and strategies to manage symptoms. In some cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may also be recommended. It is important for patients to work closely with their healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan.


1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

2. Sarchiapone, M., Carli, V., Cuomo, C., & Roy, A. (2009). Endogenous depression and suicide risk. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 5(1), 3-12. doi: 10.2174/157340009787002526

3. Zonnor, O., & Scully, P. J. (2011). Endogenous depression: A review of its clinical features and treatment approaches. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45(3), 249-258. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.07.001