What is depression? What are the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder?

The difference between depression and major depressive disorder

Dr.Kalyan Subedi
Dr.Kalyan Subedi

Let’s discuss about Adjustment depression

If life doesn’t turn the way we want it to be, we stress out. Our mind maybe depressed for few days or maybe few months but eventually we forget about it and return to our daily lives. In this way, if we are sad or depressed for a certain amount of time due to some known reasons or event it is called Adjustment Disorder or simply depression.

For example: If your business is all in loss, you are drowned by a debt of a bank or the demise of your close relative, it hurts for some time, you are anxious. It is natural to be worried at the moment, but there is a limit to such anxiety. The time extends from 1-2 months to few years. No matter for how long you are worried the degree of anxiety slowly decreases with time. This is a prime example of Adjustment Disorder (with depressed mood). But is the anxiety and stress remains for a long time in a high rate, it can be considered as Major Depressive Disorder.
Now let’s discuss about Major Depressive Disorder  Series of misfortunes aren’t required for a person to suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. People who live a luxurious life, have good family relationship or people who have accomplished their life goals and are successful have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder. Major Depressive Disorder doesn’t require outer or visible reason. And every person who has Major Depressive Disorder doesn’t have same behavior or symptoms.

In order to diagnose the Major Depressive Disorder at least the following 5 symptoms should appear each day for least 2 weeks, mostly throughout the day, overnight or every moment, and the first two are mandatory (there might be slight changes in symptoms for children below 12 years).
1. Depressed mood (compulsory symptom)
–(despite presence of everything they want or need in life) life feels incomplete, take tons of stress and cry everyday without specific reason

2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all / Anhedonia (compulsory symptom):
– can’t find happiness in anything, slowly lose interest from things that they loved doing in past, not be interested in physical relationship, losing the ability to be happy.

3. Significant weight changes
– over 5% change in weight over a period of one month, decrease in appetite, don’t like the taste of food that you were fond of before or unintentional weight gain due to eating excessive food every time even when you are not hungry.

4. Sleep Disturbances: impact on sleep
– even while sleeping at 11-12 o clock at night, you wake up at 3-4 in the morning and cannot fall asleep again or sleep for more than 12-14 hours a day and feel extremely tired.

5. Psychomotor retardation or agitation:
– It involves slowing down of thoughts and daily movement of an individual. For example; you don’t like doing even the daily rituals like washing ace, brushing teeth. Don’t like stepping out of house or having a conversation with people.
– Or get anxiety attacks and get frightened without reason, have short temper, grab paper or clothes continuously.

6. Fatigue
–feel weak and tired every day, every hour, every minute and every second. Feel so tired that you can’t even walk, feel as if your body was beaten up and you are severely injured and unconscious.

7. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
– thinking that your life is useless, your self confidence and self esteem have reached to its ground level, losing the confidence to accomplish any goal in life, feel that you are the burden of your family and this society, be dependent to others throughout your life.
– criticize yourself for anything and everything even for the things you have not done. And feel extreme amount of guilt.
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate:
– lose the ability to take decision in life, start forgetting things, can’t pay attention to any work.

9. Negative thoughts or recurrent suicidal ideation:
– keeping up with only negative thoughts in mind, lack of self determination, generate suicidal thoughts, you feel dying is an easy option instead of dealing with all the burden of your life.

Translated By Archeesa Aryal

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