What is Major Depressive Disorder?
MDD is characterized by having at least five of nine common symptoms. One of the symptoms must be either an overwhelming feeling of sadness or,
a loss of interest and pleasure in most usual activities.
The other symptoms that are associated with major depression include:
Decrease or increase in appetite
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Psychomotor agitation or retardation
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive and inappropriate guilt
Recurrent thoughts of death and suicidal ideation with or without specific plans for committing suicide
Cognitive difficulties, such as, diminished ability to think, concentrate and take decisions
The symptoms must persist for two weeks or longer and represent a significant change from previous functioning. Social, occupational, educational, or other important functioning are impacted by major depressive disorder. For instance, the person may start missing work or school, or stop going to classes or their usual social activities.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.