Sadness is a part of life and no one can escape it in the ups and downs of life. One may get depressed due to various unfavourable conditions of life like death of some loved one, divorce, financial crisis, serious illness etc. But sadness is usually short term and get healed with passing time. When this sadness continues for long term or someone persistently remains in a depressed mood, it can be “major depressive disorder”. Major depressive disorder is a state of constant lows, negativity, sadness, and lack of interest in the outside world for extended period of time. It is also known as “clinical depression” or “unipolar disorder”.
MDD can severely affect various aspects of someone’s life. Not only it impacts the behaviour of a person, but also the sleeping habit, social conducts, appetite, and normal life activities. Occasionally, the patient might feel that life is not worth living.
MDD can get better with treatment but most of the times, people don’t seek any treatment. Since it is an aggregation of symptoms, people often miss to consider it as an illness which requires proper treatment. But a little awareness on major depressive disorder can help a lot many people improve their quality of life, who otherwise pass their days suffering alone.
Symptoms of major depressive disorder
Depression is one of the prime symptoms of MDD. However, it should be noted that MDD is different from bipolar disorder and is called unipolar disorder because it is not characterised with episodic sadness and maniac phases. It is a state of constant lows. Some other symptoms include:
- Sadness and irritation on a daily basis
- Disinterest in one’s own favourite activities
- Weight loss, weight gain, or loss of appetite
- Sleepiness or difficulty in sleeping
- Fatigue, tiredness, and restlessness
- Lack of focus
- Feeling worthless and suicidal thoughts
Diagnosis of major depressive disorder
A condition can be considered as major depressive disorder if one or more depression symptoms are experienced daily for more than three weeks. Doctors usually diagnose a person with MDD based on his behaviour symptoms. There is also specific questionnaire to diagnose the mental condition of a person and doctors also take help of certain manuals to find out the level of depression in the patients.
Treatment of major depressive disorder
MDD can be treated with medication, psychotherapy, and out-patient treatment programs. There are support groups and residential programs which can help a lot in recovering from the depressive state. Sessions with a psychotherapist help in reducing the guilt feeling, sadness, and worthlessness. The medication mostly includes the anti-depressants in the initial stage, however, there are many more advanced medications which should be administered only after a doctor’s prescription.
Reaching out to your nearest psychiatrist is the best solution to design the pathway for treatment of major depressive disorder.