Major Depression

also known as Depression, Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression

Corona, the consequent Covid19, lockdowns, isolation and quarantines have increased the incidence of depression worldwide.

We all have days when we feel down, unmotivated, tired, and not social but we also know the mood will pass. It’s when this mood does not pass week after week that we may need to seek help.

Major Depression is a common and costly mental health problem, seen frequently in general medical settings.

It is the fourth leading medical cause of disability in Western Civilization.

The World Health Organization had predicted that by 2020 depression would be the second highest cause of illness after heart disease in the Western World. Little did they know that the increase would have been caused by a virus that spread through the world at the same rate as the Spanish Flu of 1918.

Depression can be fatal and the suicide rate among depressed persons is at least 8 times higher than the general population.

Often, depressed people present to their doctors vague physical symptoms rather than emotional complaints and sometimes depression can be overlooked.

Depression Symptoms – These are presented here for educational purposes only and are not intended for self-diagnosis.

Not all symptoms of depression need to occur at the same time for a diagnosis of depression, clinical depression or major depressive disorder to to be made (see below)

  1. Depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities.
  3. Significant weight loss or weight gain.
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation, noticeable by others, not subjective.
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  7. Feelings of unworthiness or excessive or inappropriate guilt.
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness nearly every day.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation.

The diagnosis of major or clinical depression may be made if 5 symptoms of the 9 occur within a 2 week period and must include either of symptoms 1 and 2. However symptoms may not meet the criteria for this diagnosis if caused through:

  • physiological effects of a medical condition,
  • other conditions such as bereavement,
  • other psychological or psychotic conditions.

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