What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)?

By The Medical City , | October 11, 2018

Everyone experiences bouts of sadness. Normally, this is a reaction to a particular stressor such as a loved one’s death or losing a job. However, it becomes abnormal and is labeled a disorder when it is profound, prolonged and excessive.


What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)? 

Everyone experiences bouts of sadness. Normally, this is a reaction to a particular stressor such as a loved one’s death or losing a job. However, it becomes abnormal and is labeled a disorder when it is profound, prolonged and excessive.   

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is also known as major depression, clinical depression, or unipolar depression. It is characterized by at least two weeks of depressed mood and a decrease in interest in one’s usual activities. Furthermore, symptoms interfere with daily functions at home, in school or at work.   

How does one know if one has MDD? 

Major depression is characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in usual activities once enjoyed and the inability to perform daily activities for at least two weeks. Most depressed people may also feel other physical and mental symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, headaches, body aches, and thoughts of suicide.

 

Some symptoms may manifest differently in each person. Some people have trouble sleeping, lose weight, and generally feel agitated and irritable. Others may sleep and eat too much while they continuously feel worthless and guilty. Still others can function reasonably well at work and put on a happy face in front of others, while deep down they feel depressed and disinterested in life.  

 

What are the risk factors and who are at risk? 

In adults, major depressive disorder affects twice as many women as men. Depression may occur in children, adolescents, and adults. The peak age of onset is between 20 to 40 years old for both sexes while prevalence rates peak in older adulthood (between 55-74 years old).

 

People with first-degree relatives with a mood disorder are twice as likely to develop MDD.

 

Those who have gone through adverse life events (unemployment, bereavement, psychological trauma) are more likely to develop depression. 

 

Up to 25 percent of those who are suffering from grave or chronic medical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, stroke or myocardial infarction will experience depression during their illness.

 

How is it diagnosed?

A thorough examination of a patient’s medical history and mental status can also assist in diagnosing MDD. There are no laboratory examinations to confirm such an illness. If someone feels that he or she is experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, or if relatives see signs of the illness in a loved one, professional help should be sought. 

 

What are the available treatment options? 

The psychological treatment of depression or psychotherapy assists the depressed individual in several ways, and is often three-, four, or even five-tiered in structure. First, supportive counseling helps ease the pain of depression, and addresses the feelings of hopelessness that accompany depression.  Second, cognitive therapy changes the pessimistic ideas, unrealistic expectations, and overly critical self-evaluations that create depression and sustain it. Third, problem-solving therapy changes the areas of the person's life that are creating significant stress, contributing to the depression. Sometimes, behavioral or interpersonal therapy is also introduced. The former assists the patient in developing better coping skills, while the latter helps solve relationship problems. 

 

For severe depression, medication is usually given. Antidepressant medication does not cure depression, but helps the patient by controlling certain symptoms. 

 

What are the possible complications? 

About two-thirds of individuals who have a major depressive episode will recover completely. The other one-third recovers only partially, or not at all. People who do not recover completely will probably experience one or more additional episodes.

 

Managing or treating a medical condition is more difficult if a person is also clinically depressed. The prognosis for the illness may also be less positive.

 

Other mental health conditions may often coexist with major depressive disorder. Some of these are substance abuse, anxiety and panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder.

 

Major depressive disorder should be taken very seriously, because up to 15 percent of those with this condition commit suicide.

 

How can The Medical City help you? 

The Medical City has a complete roster of excellent psychiatrists who are experienced in dealing with mood problems.  Appointments may be set with any of them to inquire about the nature of this condition, either for oneself, or for a loved one. 

 

Out-patient services through the Center for Behavioral Health under the Department of Psychiatry are offered to those who need psychiatric treatment but are under financial constraints. In-patient care is recommended for patients who have difficulty controlling their symptoms or have self-harming or suicidal behavior.

Note: This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you or someone you know have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is advisable to seek professional help.

For inquiries, you may contact:

CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Lower Ground Floor, Podium building, The Medical City

Tel. No. (+632) 988-1000 / (+632) 988-7000 ext. 6135

 

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY

Lower Ground Floor, Podium building, The Medical City

Tel. No. (+632) 988-1000 / (+632) 988-7000 ext. 6608

psychiatry@themedicalcity.com

 

REFERENCES:

The Medical City Center for Behavioral Health

Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry 11th edition

http://www.oshc.dole.gov.ph

http://who.int/mental_health/management/depression/en/ 

 



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What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)?

By The Medical City ,

October 11, 2018


Everyone experiences bouts of sadness. Normally, this is a reaction to a particular stressor such as a loved one’s death or losing a job. However, it becomes abnormal and is labeled a disorder when it is profound, prolonged and excessive.

What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)? 

Everyone experiences bouts of sadness. Normally, this is a reaction to a particular stressor such as a loved one’s death or losing a job. However, it becomes abnormal and is labeled a disorder when it is profound, prolonged and excessive.   

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is also known as major depression, clinical depression, or unipolar depression. It is characterized by at least two weeks of depressed mood and a decrease in interest in one’s usual activities. Furthermore, symptoms interfere with daily functions at home, in school or at work.   

How does one know if one has MDD? 

Major depression is characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in usual activities once enjoyed and the inability to perform daily activities for at least two weeks. Most depressed people may also feel other physical and mental symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, headaches, body aches, and thoughts of suicide.

 

Some symptoms may manifest differently in each person. Some people have trouble sleeping, lose weight, and generally feel agitated and irritable. Others may sleep and eat too much while they continuously feel worthless and guilty. Still others can function reasonably well at work and put on a happy face in front of others, while deep down they feel depressed and disinterested in life.  

 

What are the risk factors and who are at risk? 

In adults, major depressive disorder affects twice as many women as men. Depression may occur in children, adolescents, and adults. The peak age of onset is between 20 to 40 years old for both sexes while prevalence rates peak in older adulthood (between 55-74 years old).

 

People with first-degree relatives with a mood disorder are twice as likely to develop MDD.

 

Those who have gone through adverse life events (unemployment, bereavement, psychological trauma) are more likely to develop depression. 

 

Up to 25 percent of those who are suffering from grave or chronic medical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, stroke or myocardial infarction will experience depression during their illness.

 

How is it diagnosed?

A thorough examination of a patient’s medical history and mental status can also assist in diagnosing MDD. There are no laboratory examinations to confirm such an illness. If someone feels that he or she is experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, or if relatives see signs of the illness in a loved one, professional help should be sought. 

 

What are the available treatment options? 

The psychological treatment of depression or psychotherapy assists the depressed individual in several ways, and is often three-, four, or even five-tiered in structure. First, supportive counseling helps ease the pain of depression, and addresses the feelings of hopelessness that accompany depression.  Second, cognitive therapy changes the pessimistic ideas, unrealistic expectations, and overly critical self-evaluations that create depression and sustain it. Third, problem-solving therapy changes the areas of the person's life that are creating significant stress, contributing to the depression. Sometimes, behavioral or interpersonal therapy is also introduced. The former assists the patient in developing better coping skills, while the latter helps solve relationship problems. 

 

For severe depression, medication is usually given. Antidepressant medication does not cure depression, but helps the patient by controlling certain symptoms. 

 

What are the possible complications? 

About two-thirds of individuals who have a major depressive episode will recover completely. The other one-third recovers only partially, or not at all. People who do not recover completely will probably experience one or more additional episodes.

 

Managing or treating a medical condition is more difficult if a person is also clinically depressed. The prognosis for the illness may also be less positive.

 

Other mental health conditions may often coexist with major depressive disorder. Some of these are substance abuse, anxiety and panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder.

 

Major depressive disorder should be taken very seriously, because up to 15 percent of those with this condition commit suicide.

 

How can The Medical City help you? 

The Medical City has a complete roster of excellent psychiatrists who are experienced in dealing with mood problems.  Appointments may be set with any of them to inquire about the nature of this condition, either for oneself, or for a loved one. 

 

Out-patient services through the Center for Behavioral Health under the Department of Psychiatry are offered to those who need psychiatric treatment but are under financial constraints. In-patient care is recommended for patients who have difficulty controlling their symptoms or have self-harming or suicidal behavior.

Note: This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you or someone you know have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is advisable to seek professional help.

For inquiries, you may contact:

CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Lower Ground Floor, Podium building, The Medical City

Tel. No. (+632) 988-1000 / (+632) 988-7000 ext. 6135

 

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY

Lower Ground Floor, Podium building, The Medical City

Tel. No. (+632) 988-1000 / (+632) 988-7000 ext. 6608

psychiatry@themedicalcity.com

 

REFERENCES:

The Medical City Center for Behavioral Health

Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry 11th edition

http://www.oshc.dole.gov.ph

http://who.int/mental_health/management/depression/en/ 

 


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