Depressive disorder is a real medical condition that is treatable. It can be life-threatening if left untreated. About two-thirds of people with major depressive disorders have suicidal thoughts, while about 10-15% of people with major depressive disorder symptoms die by suicide.
If you believe you or someone you love is having depressive episodes, it’s important to know as much as you can about depression so you or your loved one can get help to cope with depression.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore depression, its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of depression.
Major Depressive Disorder: What Is It?
Major depressive disorder, otherwise known as clinical depression, is a chronic mental health problem that can affect your mood, appetite, and interest in daily activities. Doctors diagnose patients with major depressive disorder when they feel low all day, or most part of the day for at least two weeks.
Major depressive disorder is different from persistent depressive disorder, which is a type of depression that produces mild to moderate symptoms that lasts for at least two years.
Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms
Major depressive disorder can affect people of all ages and gender. However, it is more likely to occur in women, people who are in their twenties, and those who are divorced, separated, or widowed.
Major depressive disorder signs and symptoms may consist of:
- Persistent sadness or low mood
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies you once used to love
- Alteration in weight and appetite
- Altered sleep pattern
- Lack of energy and tiredness
- Anxiety, restlessness, and irritability
- Slowed ability to speak, think, and move
- The feeling of guilt or worthlessness
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
** If you or someone you know is having thoughts of harming themselves, get help immediately. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free by dialing 988, or texting “HOME” to 741-741. You can also call 911. **
Are you or someone around you having these symptoms? If so, get medical help from a mental health professional right away.
Diagnosing Major Depressive Disorder
Mental health professionals make a diagnosis of major depressive disorder after a thorough understanding of the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and history of mental health disorders. They can also provide a diagnosis of a specific subtype of clinical depression.
People diagnosed with depression have at least five or more of the above symptoms every day, all day, for at least 14 days. The five or more symptoms must include low mood and loss of interest in favorite hobbies or activities. In some cases, a mental health professional also orders medical tests like blood tests.
If you experience episodes of mania as well as depression, you may have bipolar disorder.
Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder
Typically, depressive episodes are treated with medications and/or psychotherapy. Reports have shown that clinical depression is more responsive to a combination of medications and psychotherapy compared to medication alone.
Antidepressants are the medications used for major depressive disorder symptoms. There are many different types, and your mental health therapist may try more than two types of these medications to find the most effective one.
Management of Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms in Virginia
If you are concerned about the mental health of your loved one or yourself, visit us here at EPIC Health Partners. Our team consists of licensed psychiatrists, professional counselors, social workers, and dedicated supporting staff who are committed to providing you with personalized care.
We offer a range of effective and evidence-based treatments to help individuals with mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and more.
If you would like to make a one-on-one consultation with us, call us today at (434) 835-4601 or use our convenient and secure Request an Appointment form. You are not alone in your struggle with depression – reach out to us now and start feeling better today.