Major Depression (major Depressive Disorder): Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

What is major depression? How do I know if I suffer from major depressive disorder? Discover the main symptoms, the causes that lead to it and what is the most effective treatment.

What is major depression and how to identify it?

Sadness is a feeling that we can all experience at certain times in our lives. In fact, feeling sad is normal when we lose a loved one, are going through a divorce, or are facing a serious illness. But, when these feelings of sadness are persistent and intense for long periods, it may be that the person is suffering from a major depressive disorder one of the most common types of depression.

What is major depression?

The major depression, known as major, unipolar or clinical depressive disorder, is a disorder that is mainly characterized by persistent feelings of sadness or lack of interest in external stimuli. In this way, people with this depressive disorder usually focus on the negative emotions they feel.

When a person suffers from major depression This disorder can affect many areas of your life, altering your social functioning or other areas and causing discomfort that people consider significant. In some cases, operation seems normal, however, it requires great effort to perform tasks that were not costly before. A variation must be experienced with respect to other stages of life. It is possible that the individual ends up increasing negative thoughts and feelings towards himself/herself.

Symptoms of major depression

In order to identify and diagnose if you suffer from a major depressive disorder It is important to see a mental health professional. Even so, there are some signs that can help you know if you really may suffer from these types of depression.

  1. Experience changes in behavior: Normally the signs of major depression are usually related to a change in the person’s functioning or routine. That is, this depressive disorder It usually affects the behavior of those who suffer from it.
  2. Feelings of sadness or irritability: the major depression It ends up affecting the mood of the person who suffers from it. So much so that the individual ends up feeling sad or irritable most of the day, almost every day.
  3. Loss of interest: When someone suffers from major depressive disorder You usually end up losing the desire to do those activities that you previously enjoyed. In many cases the person no longer has the motivation to do them.
  4. Weight gain or loss: Another of the symptoms of major depression It is precisely the changes in appetite. Therefore, the person who suffers from it can gain or lose weight in relation to it.
  5. Sleeping problems: One of the symptoms of severe depression It is the presence of insomnia due to persistent feelings of sadness and irritability. Main symptoms of major depression
  6. Concern: He major depressive disorder It is also related to excessive worry that creates a state of constant restlessness in those who suffer from it.
  7. Lack of energy and tiredness: The major depression It can also cause a persistent feeling of fatigue. Individuals who suffer from these types of depression often feel without energy and in a constant state of mental and physical fatigue.
  8. Culpability: The feeling of uselessness is also another of the symptoms of severe depression such as major depressive disorder. In this way, the person feels guilty even for things in which he has no responsibility or control.
  9. Difficult to focus: The clinical or major depression It can affect a person’s attention span, making them appear absent-minded or irresponsible in the eyes of others.
  10. Suicidal thoughts: Finally, another of the signs of serious depression It is precisely the thought of wanting to commit suicide.
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Typically, psychologists diagnose major depressive disorder when at least five of these symptoms persist for more than two weeks. So, if you identify with a lot of this, it’s important to see a mental health professional right away.

Causes of depressive disorders

There are many factors that play a very relevant role in the major depression According to the APA, American Psychiatric Associationthese are classified as genetic, personality and environmental:

  • Genetics: People who have family members who have suffered from any of the types of depression, They may be more likely to get it as well. In fact, research suggests that about 40% of the time genetics determine whether a person will be more prone to depression or not.
  • Substance use: People who have abused or abuse alcohol or drugs may suffer feelings of worthlessness, guilt or hopelessness, which is why they are more likely to suffer depression Sometimes addictions are a refuge from suffering pain.
  • Stress: When an individual is exposed to too much stress (whether at the level of self-demand or due to trauma) they may end up being more likely to suffer from a severe depression or depressive symptoms

These may be some of the reasons that may lead you to experience the symptoms of major depression

What is the treatment for depression?

Treatment of major depressive disorder

When a person suffers from a major depressive episode The treatment of choice (according to the NICE and APA treatment guidelines) is psychotherapy, sometimes it can be supported with psychotropic drugs, but they are not the first choice. Additionally, there are a number of lifestyle ‘tweaks’ that can also help alleviate some of the symptoms of depressive disorders.

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Mainly, the medications used for depressive disorders They are usually selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, better known as antidepressants. This is because serotonin is a neurotransmitter closely involved in our moods. Therefore, its use can help people improve many of the symptoms of major depression.

On the other hand, during psychotherapy, the psychologist will offer you a series of strategies to combat the depressive symptoms typical of major depressive disorder In this way, psychotherapy can help you in the following.

  • Adapt to stressful events
  • Replace negative beliefs and thoughts with positive and healthier ones
  • Improve communication skills with yourself (internal dialogue) and with others
  • Find methods to cope with problems without damaging your mood
  • Strategies to increase your self-esteem
  • Regain the feeling of control in your life

Keys to dealing with major depressive disorder

How to get out of serious depression?

In addition to going to therapy, psychologists recommend that people also apply the following tips to relieve symptoms related to major depression

  1. Perform exercise: Physical exercise causes us to release endorphins, a substance that helps us feel better about ourselves and improve our mood. Therefore, exercising regularly can be very beneficial to counteract the symptoms of severe depression
  2. Change your internal dialogue: Being too self-critical or constantly thinking negatively will only make you feel worse about yourself. Thus, one way to stop this type of counterproductive speech is to try to establish small daily goals that are accessible in order to combat the feelings of worthlessness or guilt that you may feel and that make these dialogues more persistent.
  3. Socialize: It is normal that if you are suffering from a persistent depressive disorder, you don’t want to go out or socialize. But pushing yourself to do it will benefit you in feeling better and changing your mood.
  4. Put the brakes on big decisions: When you suffer from any of the types of depression, it is better not to make big decisions. The reason for this is that this may involve changes that you really do not want and that will increase the feelings of sadness typical of major depressive disorder.
  5. Read about depression: Learning about the profile of a depressed person and the disease will make you change your perspective in many aspects. So much so that you will be able to recognize patterns or attitudes that can be harmful to you.
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The major depression, like any type of depressive disorder, can affect those who suffer from it in many areas. For this reason, if you think you may be in this case, you must start acting to stop it.