What is it?

Major depression is a mood disorder that lasts at least two weeks and is characterized by a depressed mood, low self-esteem, and self-blame. Physiological symptoms such as changes in sleep and appetite and cognitive symptoms that interfere with day-to-day life. Depression is characterized by pessimistic thinking about the present, the self and the future. Depression is twice as common among women and the average age of onset is 40 years. In men, it is common to see comorbidity with substances use while in women, eating disorders and anxiety are common comorbidities.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Chronic Depression
- Clinical Depression
- Depressive Disorder

Signs & symptoms

The symptoms of depression are symptoms of a bad mood that include anhedonia, low self-esteem, self-blame, suicidal thoughts and distancing oneself from society. Also, physiologically, decreased, or increased appetite and weight gain, sleep disorders, decreased desire and sexual activity, constipation, and headaches. There are also cognitive symptoms in the disorder such as psychomotor agitation and concentration difficulties.

Diagnosis

major depression criteria by DSM-5: The DSM-5 outlines the following criterion to make a diagnosis of depression. The individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. 4. A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
5. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
6. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
8. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.B. A diagnosis of clinical / major depression will be given when the various symptoms lead to significant distress or impairment of social, occupational, or other significant areas of functioning.
C. The episode is not related to physiological symptoms of substances or any other medical condition.
Significant loss (bereavement, deep economic crisis, loss due to natural disaster, serious illness or disability) may include symptoms similar to major depression. It should be borne in mind that loss can lead to depression and therefore each case should be examined on its own merits, the person's history, social norms of distress at the time of loss should be examined and an in-depth clinical assessment performed.
D. The onset of clinical / major depression is not better explained by: schizophrenia, schizophrenic disorder, schizophrenic disorder, delusional disorder, or other disorders of the schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders.
E. There have never been manic or hypomanic episodes (if there was a manic or hypomanic episode caused by a physiological or medical condition, for example as a result of taking a drug, this is not considered a manic or hypomanic episode for the purposes of this section).

Treatment


The most common and effective drugs for the treating major depression are antidepressants from the SSRI class – selectiveserotonin reuptake inhibitors. There is also the SNRIs class that inhibit the reuptake of both serotonin and noradrenaline. Other drugs are NDRI, TCA and MAO INHIBITORS. Also, treatment-resistant depression can be treated with Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which is considered to be a very effective and very safe treatment with few side effects. Medication should be combined with psychological treatment.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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