Major Depression Disorder

Major depression disorder (sometimes known as unipolar depression or clinical depression) is recognized by low moods in combination with low esteem and a lack of pleasure in those aspects of life that are normally considered to be pleasurable.

Suffering from major depression (which is a depression that lasts for some time – usually, two weeks is the minimum period used to define the condition) is a thoroughly debilitating experience that adversely affects the sufferer’s ability to lead a normal life, usually impinging upon their ability to work, to live a normal family and home life, sleep, eating and even their general health.

Major Depression Symptoms

People who are suffering from major depression disorder may suffer some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of unbounded pessimism or hopelessness.
  • A persistent anxious, sad or somehow ‘empty’ mood.
  • Decreased energy levels and persistent fatigue.
  • Consistent feelings of worthlessness and a lack of personal value.
  • Persistent sleep disorders, such as insomnia or regular oversleeping.
  • An inability to concentrate or remember things.
  • Constant restlessness and irritability.
  • Loss of appetite and associated loss of weight.
  • Alternatively, persistent over eating and consequent weight gain.
  • Thoughts of suicide and/or suicide attempts.
  • Persistent physical maladies such as headaches and digestive problems that do not respond to the normal physical treatment that would banish these problems.

The diagnosis of clinical depression is based on the patient’s own experiences as reported by them, the information supplied by family members, colleagues and friends, backed up by a mental status examination carried out by a qualified mental health professional.

The normal onset of major depression happens between the ages of 30 and 40, with statistics suggesting that the condition is likely to peak in severity somewhere between ages of 50 and 60. In the USA, clinical depression is reported in women around twice as frequently as it is in men, although men pose a significantly higher suicide risk.

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