Major Depressive Disorder is considered a mood disorder that includes distressing symptoms such as sadness and emptiness, affecting sleep, eating, and work functions.
To be diagnosed with major depression, the symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depressive disorder is the most common mental health disorder with nearly 16 million adults suffering from depression. While a depressive episode can occur only once, most depressive episodes are reoccurring throughout a person’s lifetime.
Signs and Symptoms
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a reference manual used by health care professionals as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders, the signs, and symptoms of major depressive disorder includes:
- Depressed or low mood for most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks
- Little to no interest in activities or tasks
- Decrease in appetite and/or weight
- Trouble sleeping or desire to sleep all the time
- Lack of energy
- Feelings of low self-worth
- Lack of concentration or focus
- Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death with plans or attempts
Children and Depression
Children and teens can be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and exhibit the same symptoms as adults, however, additional symptoms include anger and irritability.
Assessment for Major Depressive Disorder
A diagnosis of major depressive disorder or other depressive disorders requires an evaluation and diagnosis by a licensed clinician such as a psychiatrist or psychologist who specializes in depressive disorders. At Clarity Clinic, we specialize in depressive disorder assessments and treatment for children, teens, and adults aimed at understanding the severity, length, and frequency of the symptoms, including ruling out a differential diagnosis, to determine the best treatment options.
Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder
Both medication and psychotherapy in conjunction have been shown to be effective in helping reduce symptoms of major depressive disorders. At Clarity Clinic our experienced clinicians guide clients toward the proper treatments, including pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
Our psychiatrists ensure a proper diagnosis and take care in specialized medication management for clients treating depressive disorders through pharmacological treatment.
Medication management coupled with psychotherapy has proven to be an effective treatment in reducing symptoms of depressive disorders and improving overall functioning.