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Major Depression’ Symptoms and Treatment – Psychology


A continuous sense of tiredness, unhappiness, and hopelessness are key signs of clinical or major depression. This mood disorder is an illness; it makes one feel frustrated, angry, miserable, blue, or down in the dumps. Such mood changes alter the daily life programs of an individual for sometimes. At one point in life, everybody has experienced the changes in mood, but other people go through it severally in their lifetime.

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When such conditions set in, it becomes extremely difficult to sleep, work, eat, enjoy events, and even study (Kendler, Karkowski, & Prescott, 1999). The restlessness status that sets in totally complicates one’s programs. Clinical depression mostly takes a historical occurrence; it affects a generation in a specific family. However, clinical depression may well affect those with no family history of the mood disorder (Andrews, Szabo, & Burns, 2002).

Symptoms, Effects, and Diagnosis

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is noted by a constantly depressed mood on most parts of the day, especially before noon, and runs for more than one week. People suffering from MDD lose concentration, sleep excessively (insomnia), lose or gain weight significantly, and think of suicide or death recurrently. The weight change is due to drastic change in appetite. In addition, such people feel worthless and excessively guilty.

Even though medics lack clear information on causes of MDD, a combination of chemical alterations in the brain and specific stressful activities are assumed responsible (Kendler, Karkowski, & Prescott, 1999). Such persons always abuse drugs. Certain medicines like steroids and specific medical conditions like cancer and underactive thyroid may cause depression.

When loneliness sets in, the affected always experience numerous relationship breakups, as they are never willing to share their issues with friends, relatives, and other people. Isolation or withdrawal is a common symptom in those suffering from clinical disorder.

Diagnosis of MDD have to meet the key symptoms stipulated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM); it is mostly confused with depressions that occurs due to loss of a close partner or medical circumstance like thyroid disorders (Mojtabai, 2014). It is important to diagnose the illness accurately in order to get suitable treatments.


Overtime people referred to major depression as ‘women’s disease.’ This was because most men kept their situations to themselves (Andrews, Szabo, & Burns, 2002). In terms of attack disparities or commonalities, 10% of the US population is likely to suffer from MDD at a given point in their lifetime, according to the research on genetics of depression by Stanford School of Medicine (Mojtabai, 2014). Women are two times likely to suffer from clinical depression as compared to men.

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The study of illness patterns in families reveals the heritability of the disorder. In this aspect, a parent having a twin and suffering from clinical disorder presents high risk of affecting the twins. Therefore, monozygotic and dizygotic twins have different levels of risk of disease since they share their genes 100% and 50% respectively (Belmaker & Agam, 2008).


After thorough diagnosis of the mood disorder, a doctor has to ensure that the above outlined symptoms are significant in a patient. Treating MDD can be in two ways or a combination of both – talk therapy or medicine. Extremely depressed persons and those contemplating to commit suicide should receive hospital treatment. There is need for the patient to be in constant touch with a personal doctor to monitor the overall progress of the situation.

Providers can use antidepressants to treat clinical depression; the medicines restore the chemical level in the brain. When chemicals are restored to the right level, one is relieved of the aforementioned symptoms. Notably, hallucinations or delusions attract more drug prescriptions. During this time, it is important for a patient to inform the doctor of other medicines that she/he takes since some medicines may alter the work of antidepressants.

Since MDD always lasts for over one week, one should also give the medicines time to work. Some of the medications that a provider can administer on such patients include Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), and Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). In administering these medications, providers have to inform the patients of the possible side effects that accompany their usage.

Patients should not terminate taking antidepressants without prior information from the provider. Such abrupt actions may further worsen the MDD. Markedly, pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant have to consult their doctors before taking the antidepressants; some antidepressants pose high health risk to born or unborn children. Any person under antidepressant medications requires close monitoring, as they always develop bizarre behaviors (Kanter, Busch, & Landes, 2008).

Talk therapy or psychotherapy involves one-on-one discussions with a mental health provider. A patient talks about his/her condition with the provider. It is the sole responsibility of psychotherapists to apply varied techniques in order to put the patients in a favorable situation for sharing personal information. Psychosocial therapy or counseling exists in different categories, such as dialectic behavioral therapy, mindfulness techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy (Mojtabai, 2014).

These initiatives help depressed persons in developing positive and fruitful engagement with others. Additionally, they help one to find better approaches of solving and coping with problems, as well as regaining a sense of individual satisfaction. Fighting off negative and deleterious thoughts and feelings is an essential impact of cognitive behavioral therapies.

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Andrews, G., Szabo, M., & Burns, J. (2002). Preventing major depression in young people. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 181(6), 460-462. Web.

Belmaker, R. H., & Agam, G. (2008). Major Depressive Disorder. The New England Journal of Medicine, 358(10), 55-68. Web.

Kanter, J. K., Busch, A. M., & Landes, S. J. (2008). The Nature of Clinical Depression: Symptoms, Syndromes, and Behavior Analysis. The Behavior Analyst, 31(1), 1-21. Web.

Kendler, K. S., Karkowski, L. M., & Prescott, C. A. (1999). Causal Relationship Between Stressful Life Events and the Onset of Major Depression. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(6), 837-841. Web.

Mojtabai, R. (2014). Diagnosing Depression in Older Adults in Primary Care. The New England Journal of Medicine, 370(8), 1180-1182. 

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