melancholy/melancholia

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Jofre, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Jofre

    Jofre Senior Member

    Deutsch
    Hello dear friends,
    If I were depressed, could I say I'm having melancholy. or I'm having melancholia.?
    Actually what I want to know is, are melancholy and melancholia synonyms? Do they mean the same?
    Thanks!

    Oh, I just found out that "melancholy" is a depression that only applies to the mental symptoms of depression, whereas "melancholia" can be physical and mental. To conclude, "melancholia" means depression, and "melancholy" means a sad thoughtful state of mind. Can somebody confirm me this please?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    "Melancholia" is unusual these days, Jofre. It is an old-fashioned word for "depression". These days, people generally use "melancholy" with the meaning of "sadness": There was a general feeling of melancholy among the mourners.

    Instead of saying "I am having melancholy", people usually say "I'm sad." Or: "I'm feeling depressed."
     
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    I agree that they're out of date: no ordinary person seriously uses either of these words in a medical sense today. You're sad, or depressed, or something else. Surprisingly, however, 'melancholia' is still used in the DSM, the bible of psychological conditions, for a form of depression.
     

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