Major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to function or carry out major important life activities.

An estimated 21 million adults in the U.S. had or have at least one major depressive episode. This is the representation of 8.4 % of adults in the U.S.

Major depressive disorder is more common amongst adult females compared to males.

There is a growing theory that depression has been on the rise among adolescents. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide and about 75% remain untreated in developing countries. Almost 1 million people suffering from depression commit suicide each year.

According to DSM-V, depressive disorders include disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, major depressive disorder, dysthymia, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, substance/medication-induced depressive disorder, and unspecified depressive disorders. 

Depressive disorder is characterized by symptoms lasting at least 2 weeks or more and it involves impairment in affect, cognition, and neurovegetative functions. 

Diagnostic Criteria include:

Five or more of the following symptoms must be present during the same two-week period, must cause impairment in functioning; and at least one of the symptoms is either depressed mood or loss of interest/pleasure:

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Weight loss ( when not dieting) or weight gain
  • Decrease or increased appetite
  • Anxious, restlessness that leads to unintended movements or psychomotor retardation
  • Loss of energy, fatigue, or feeling slowed down
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive inappropriate feelings of guilt
  • Reduced ability to think and/or concentrate, or make decisions
  • Recurrent suicidal ideation, with or without a plan, or suicide attempt

These symptoms lead to significant distress or impairment in an individual’s social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 

Depression can appear at any age, but onset increases with puberty. If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of depression and they continue to persist, speak with a mental health provider. If you know someone who you think may benefit from speaking with a psychiatrist to be diagnosed and treated, encourage them to seek professional help. 

Why live a life that confines and isolates you? We all need the opportunity to be able to develop our social skills, to perform and contribute to society and to be able to enjoy life in the healthiest way possible.

Just like anxiety, depression is treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. There are people who may experience treatment-resistant depression. This occurs if treatment of more than one medication does not help. This is why it is important to seek help from a psychiatrist who will provide and tailor the best possible treatment option for you. 

Speak with a psychiatrist who will listen, understand and develop the right treatment plan for you. For persons with mental disorders, it is already difficult for them to remain compliant and remember to take their medications. Some of them have very poor insight and judgment which prevents them from following instructions to take their medication on time. It is very important you have a psychiatrist who will maintain and build a healthy relationship with their patient to ensure they are properly treated and prevent remissions or relapse. 

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