Major Depressive Disorder: More Than the Blues

Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder that causes a loss of interest and persistent feelings of sadness. It affects many areas of your life and can lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems. It’s one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States and tends to affect more women than men, though more women tend to seek treatment.

Major Depressive Disorder: More Than the Blues

The actual cause of depression is unknown. There are, however, several factors that may contribute. A combination of stress and genes can affect brain chemistry and the ability to maintain mood stability. Other factors include abuse, alcohol or drug use, other medical conditions, and certain medications.

To be diagnosed with depression, you must meet the criteria listed in the DSM-5. One example is that you must experience a change in the way you previously functioned. Symptoms must also occur for two or more weeks. One of the symptoms must be loss of interest or pleasure or depressed mood.

In that time, you must also experience five or more of the following symptoms:

Feelings of sadness or irritability through most of the day, nearly every day.
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
Sudden weight loss or gain or changes in appetite.
Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping.
Fatigue or lack of energy.
Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
When treating depression, medications and psychotherapy work well for most people.

Some different types of medications used include:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Atypical Antidepressants
Tricyclic Antidepressants
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Psychotherapy refers to treatment by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. Some examples are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy.

Psychotherapy can help you:

Adjust to a stressful event or crisis.
Replace negative behaviors or beliefs with positive ones.
Improve communication skills.
Find healthier ways to solve problems and cope with challenges.
Increase self-esteem.
Regain sense of control and satisfaction in your life.

At Pandora’s House, we are committed to helping individuals and families transform their lives with dedicated, comprehensive care. Please contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about the benefits and methods of treatment.