Major Depressive Disorder
What is it?
Major Depressive Disorder is commonly known as MDD or clinical depression. It's a mood disorder in which a person experiences, in the absence of drugs or another medical condition, two or more weeks of significantly depressed moods or diminished interest or pleasure in most activities, along with at least four other symptoms. (1)
What is the cause?
- Biological differences
- Brain chemistry
- Inherited traits
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities
- Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
- Lack of energy
- Changes in appetite
As you can see there are many characteristics and many more! (2)
Types of depression
- Anxious distress
- Mixed features
- Melancholic features
- Atypical features
- Psychotic features
- Peripartum onset
- Seasonal pattern (2)
- Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States.
- In 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.
- 3.7% of all U.S. disability-adjusted life years
- 8.3% of all U.S. years lived with disability
- More common in women rather than men. (3)
How is it Diagnosed?
- Talking with a trained therapist is one of the best treatments. Some people choose to be in therapy for several months to work on a few key issues. Other people find it helpful to continue in therapy for years, gradually working through larger problems.
- Medicines are the other key treatment for depression. If one antidepressant doesn't work well, you might try a similar one or a different kind. Your doctor might also try changing the dose. In some cases, he or she might recommend taking more than one medication for your depression. There are now many different antidepressants that your doctor can choose from. (4)
- Two-thirds of people suffering from depression do not seek necessary treatment.
- Women experience depression about twice as often as men.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in the United States in 1996.
80% of all people with clinical depression who have received treatment significantly improve their lives. (6)
(2) Depression (major depressive disorder). (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/definition/con-20032977
(3) Major Depression Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2016, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml
(4) Treatments for Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/depression/symptoms-depressed-anxiety-12/treating-depression
(5) Depression Diagnosis and Screening: What Doctors Look For. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-diagnosis
(6) Depression Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2016, from http://www.psychiatry.wustl.edu/depression/depression_facts.htm