What Is Major Depressive Disorder?
Major depressive disorder, also called clinical depression, major depression, unipolar depression, or unipolar disorder, is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.
It is a disabling condition that adversely affects a person’s family, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health.
Causes Of Major Depressive Disorder:
The exact cause of Major Depressive Disorder is not known.
However, scientists believe it results due to a number of factors including:
- Biological differences
- Brain chemistry
- Inherited traits
The following factors increase the risk of developing Major Depressive Disorder:
- Certain personality traits, such as:
- low self-esteem
- Traumatic or stressful events, such as:
- physical or sexual abuse,
- the death or loss of a loved one
- a difficult relationship
- or financial problems
- Childhood trauma
- Blood relatives with a history of :
- bipolar disorder
- History of other mental health disorders, such as:
- anxiety disorder
- eating disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Serious or chronic illness, including:
- chronic pain
- heart disease
Symptoms Of Major Depressive Disorder:
Some common symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder include the following:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that aren’t your responsibility
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Diagnosis Of Major Depressive Disorder:
The following tests and exams help in the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder:
- Physical exam
- Lab tests including:
- Complete bold count
- Thyroid test
- Psychological evaluation.
Treatment Of Major Depressive Disorder:
Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder includes the following:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs).
- Atypical antidepressants.
- Tricyclic antidepressants.
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).