Circadian Rhythms and Depression

  • B. Pflug
Part of the Springer Series in Synergetics book series (SSSYN, volume 36)


1. Depression is a common illness; it is estimated that about 3 or 4 percent of the population suffer from a depression requiring treatment. It is characterized by a syndrome of varying intensity with a varying combination of psychological, psychomotor and somatic symptoms. The patients are downcast and sad, incapable of being glad. Thought is experienced as inhibited and turns on guilt and hopelessness. Fear is important, and is almost always present. Patients complain of a feeling of emptiness, that they have no ideas, and cannot concentrate. A marked disturbance of mood is characterized by indecisiveness, apathy, a sensation of loss of feeling, a loss of selfesteem and thoughts of suicide. A withdrawal from social contact takes place, the patients isolate themselves. The psychomotor symptoms may consist of great restlessness, agitation and nervousness or loss of drive, inhibition, even stupor. The patients appear rigid and tormented; everything is felt to proceed slowly.


Circadian Rhythm Sleep Deprivation Circadian System Phase Position Temperature Rhythm 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Pflug
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryJohann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversitätFrankfurtFed. Rep. of Germany

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