Major Depressive Disorder
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Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a psychiatric disorder that affects one’s mood. One may be only diagnosed with MDD if he/she has never experienced a manic episode before. The disorder is defined by a 2-week period, characterized by five (or more) of the following symptoms and an evident deviation from one’s regular behavior:
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Diminished interest in activities one engaged in before
- Significant weight loss when not dieting
- Insomnia almost every day
- Compromised motor function
- Exhaustion and low energy
- Feelings of worthlessness and irrational guilt
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
- Preoccupation with death, suicidal thoughts, or attempts of suicide
The likelihood of MDD increases after the onset of puberty, though it has been documented to arise at every age. In the United States, incidents of MDD peak in one’s 20’s. Although the most recent research indicates that MDD is more prevalent amongst females, there are no clear differences between the sexes in terms of symptoms, course, treatment response, or functionality. The risk of suicide attempts is higher amongst females, though lower in terms of completed suicides. The range of functionality while enduring MDD varies. Some people may not exhibit perceivable symptoms whereas others may not be able to attend to habitual self-care needs.
Disclaimer: Do not use this as a guideline to diagnose yourself. These are only the most common symptoms of this disorder as detailed by the DSM-V; there may be others that are not included here. If you believe to be suffering from this or any other illness or disorder, please consult a physician.