Major depressive disorder (A guide)

This article is a detailed overview of major depressive disorder and discusses some pertinent aspects related to this disorder.

Also, this article reveals possible symptoms, diagnostic aspects and possible treatments which offers insight into this problem.

Major depressive disorder (MDD), a kind of mood disorder, is a mental disorder caused by at least two weeks of low mood.

This mood disorder often leads to a persistent feeling of sadness and an absence of interest.

A major depressive disorder is a mood disorder that makes daily life abnormal.

Major depression, also known as unipolar or major depressive disorder (MDD), shows the visible symptoms of a general feeling of sadness or a lack of interest in the apparent invitation.

The unipolar is different from bipolar depression and major depressive disorders.

It also hints to refers to a fluctuating condition between mania and depression.

Symptom Profile of MDD

A prevailing sense of hopelessness and depression is a significant symptom to indicate that you may have a major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression.

Some of the most commonly observed causes of major depression are as follows:

  • Losing your loved one in death, divorce, or separation
  • Social isolation or feelings of being ignored
  • Major upheavals in life such as–migration, low educational grades, job change, retirement
  • Personal clashes with your loved ones
  • Experience of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse

With the persistent mental illness in major depression, it becomes impossible to work or study attentively, sleep or eat well, and enjoy friends company.

Some people have experienced this disorder only once in their life, while others have gone through it several times.

There are differential cases regarding this.


Your family doctor might be the first person to diagnose the major depressive disorder in you.

Initially, he might treat some of the widespread diseases indicating, such as thyroid disorders, that can cause depression symptoms.

While the primary health care doctor can diagnose clinical depression in you.

It would be necessary for you to consult someone with psychological expertise

In major depressive disorder, you do not have to go through the traditional test, X-ray, or other laboratory tests to diagnose major depression.

The clinician may administer some psychological diagnostic tests or assessment measures in order to ascertain the presence of the key symptoms. 

However, some general blood tests would be required to find out some other physical ailments of this psychotic disorder.

Hypothyroidism also shows the same symptoms as that we find in depression.

The same is the case with alcohol or drug use and abuse and some types of medications.

In case you are already taking medication to treat major depressive disorder, your doctor may refer you to an expert psychiatrist.

This specific doctor is an expert in diagnosing and treating major depressive disorder and complications.

He also has the authority to prescribe medications used to treat mental health conditions.

Mixed symptoms of anxiety

A person suffering from major depressive disorder might experience another mental health condition; it’s popular as a “co-occurring” condition.

Mixed anxiety-depressive disorder (MADD) is a new category for patients suffering from both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Some of the common co-occurring conditions in people with clinical depression include:

  1. Phobias
  2. Autism spectrum disorders
  3. Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  4. Anxiety disorders
  5. Post-traumatic stress disorders
  6. Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders(ADHD)
  7. Alcohol and drug disorders
  8. Eating disorders

Effects on normal life

It is surprising to reveal that multiple types of major depressive disorder can make the usual routine of your life an abnormal one.

We find different causes working in the background, yet, the same feeling of disinterest in activities that you once cherished the most and a persistent sense of melancholy is visible in all cases.

The types of major depressive disorder are divided into subtypes to classify how long the diagnosis of depression lasts and the representing characteristic of each type.

Let us get to know them one by one.

Different Types of Major Depressive Disorder

You might be surprised to learn that many different types of major depressive disorder can affect you and make your daily life difficult.

There is an overall feeling of melancholy.

Each class often has various causes, but they typically involve the same sense of disinterest in activities.

Seasonal Depression

It is a type of disease directly caused and associated with a certain period of the year.

Mostly it hits you often in the winter months when sunlight is not as sufficiently available.

It is delivered by The National Institute of Mental health that there is an effective treatment of light therapy.

But in some cases, this light therapy failed.

Psychotic depression

It is a kind of major depressive disorder.

It is a combination of severe depression and some form of psychosis; The patients experience a sort of false images disturbing.

These are called delusions. The patient sees .hear or even talk to someone not seen by others.

In the background, there are some psychotic symptoms that typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.

Melancholic Depression

Those suffering from melancholic depression often exhibit the most typical signs of major depressive disorder.

It might include problems like excessive weight gain and lack of interest in daily routine.

It is also possible that you might experience a depressed mood, which is similar to losing someone you love or intense grief.

Catatonic Depression

The people suffering from catatonic depression, you are most report motor problems and behavioral issues.

You might be immobilized or have involuntary movements.

It is a kind of psychotic disorder and is a significant danger to the well-being, as well as an additional barrier to treating the underlying disease.

The DSM-5

The DSM-5 mentions the following symptoms to make a diagnosis of major depressive disorder.

These include 

(1) depressed mood 

(2) loss of interest or pleasure. 

Substance-induced mental disorders are a kind of psychological change.

These changes are due to substance use, or withdrawal.

This is quite similar to independent mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.


The major depressive disorder has several procedures. The patient might need one or more than one method for treatment.

As there is no single remedy for every patient as the condition varies from person to person your health care team will inform you of the options that are safe for you. 

In case a patient is showing severe symptoms, the medical team might refer him to an in a hospital.

In such circumstances, the patient is at risk for hurting himself or someone else.

An inpatient mental health care facility, and taking part in outpatient treatment programs are other options to avail.

Effective treatments for depression are available. But in fewer than 10% of the patients receive such treatments.

Hurdles to effective care include a lack of resources, lack of trained health-care providers, and social stigma associated with mental disorders. 


One of the first-line treatments for major depressive disorder is medication. A wide range of antidepressants is available.

However, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly and frequently used category prescribed.

Doctors usually prescribe SSRIs.

The patients tend to have fewer and less bothersome side effects compared to older classes of antidepressants.


It is the most popular and widely used method for the treatment of major depressive disorder.

It admits it is famous as“talk therapy” or counseling. It is beneficial for people with depression.

The subcategories of this therapy are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and problem-solving therapy.

Brain Stimulation Therapies

If in some cases, medications fail to produce the desired results in the treatment of major depressive disorders, then electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be an option to explore.

Other newly introduced types of brain stimulation therapies include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).

If someone has had an episode of major depression, then it is quite clear that he is at high risk of having another stroke of the same kind.

The best way to keep it away is to be aware of the causes of major depressive disorders.

Also, it is suggested to continue taking the prescribed medication. Depression and anxiety are different conditions, but most of the time both occur together.

They also have similar treatments.

Abnormal Feelings

Feeling helpless or having the anxiety strokes frequently is something healthy.

Everyone passes through such circumstances at some point in his life. It is just the usual attitude.

But the continuous feeling of acute stress and anxiety is an alarming sign.

And everyone feels anxious in any period of from time to time — it’s a normal response to any stressful situations.

But the severe or continuous condition of stress and anxiety is an alarming thing.

It is also a sign of an underlying mental health disorder leading to major depressive disorder.

Anxiety may occur as a symptom of clinical (major)depressive disorder. It’s also not surprising to have depression that’s stimulated by some typical kinds of anxiety-like generalized anxiety, panic disorder, etc.

Most of the people, many people have a diagnosis of both an anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder at the same time.


Symptoms of major depressive disorders and anxiety are treatable. Studies show that medications and therapies (talk therapy) are useful for most individuals.

It was an old supposition once that children couldn’t be depressed, but we now know that’s not true.

Children, teens, and young adults all can experience depression, but it may not look the same as it does in adults. 

You can be helpful to your loved ones experiencing major depressive disorders.

You will have to discuss each problem regarding your patient’s condition with the doctor.

They will help you find the safest and most effective treatment, which may include medication, therapy, or both.

Some of the beneficial tips are as following that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:

  • Try to indulge in some kind of positive activity like walking and exercise.
  • Set realistic and optimistic goals for yourself.
  • Spend more time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
  • Do not make yourself isolated and let others help you.
  • Your mood will get better gradually, not immediately.
  • Just pause in making some of the significant agreements like getting engaged, switching over to a new job. You will get well.
  • Try to discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Keep updated yourself about depression.


Q1. Is MDD a disability?

Yes MDD(major depressive disorder) is a disability as it makes you lose interest in your daily work routine and results in a variety of emotional and physical problems.

Q2. Is MDD a mental illness?

Yes MDD is a mental illness as it causes people to experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration. 

Q3. What age group has the highest rate of depression?

The age group to have the highest rate of depression are the women ages 40 to 59. (12.3 percent) of any group based on age and gender in the U.S

Q4. What does it mean to be unipolar?

A unipolar is a kind of persistent depression and does not involve an episode of mania, whereas, bipolarity indicates presence of a manic episode. 

Q5. What is DD disorder?

DD is the dissociative disorder that may trouble you with your memory, identity, emotion, perception, behavior, and sense of self.

Q6. How many people have depression in the world?

The WHO (World Health Organization) releases the statistics that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. 

Self Help Section

The following are some of the helpful tools or books for a better understanding and management of major depressive disorder.

  1. Major Depressive Disorder: Depression Treatments
  2. Majori Depressive Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Family
  3. The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time
  4. The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness
  5. A Break in the Storm: Coping with Major Depression


  1. Mood disorders: A serious problem
  2. Symptoms of major depression
  3. How it can affect your daily life?
  4. It is not hereditary 
  5. How to control your anxiety
  6. Symptoms of anxiety

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