Major depressive Disorder

Depression is a feeling, which makes you sad, blue, miserable and unhappy. Most of us must have felt depressed some or the other time in our lives. However small depressions in life are very volatile and for shorter duration.

If you talk about true clinical depression, it is a mood disorder, which may be due to loss, anger, sadness or even frustration. The person continues feeling the same for longer duration like for weeks, months or even for years.

Causes of major depressive disorders

There is not any exact cause of depression. The reason of some major depression disorder occurs due to change in many chemical reactions in brain. This may be caused due to genetically disorders or due to the event of some catastrophic situations in our lives.

There are some types of depressions, which are prevalent in a family. However, even if you do not have any depression in your family tree, you can develop major depression. The strange fact is even children develop depression.

Some of the factors which paly major role in depression:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Some medical conditions like long term pain, underactive thyroid or cancer
  • Medications like steroids can cause depression
  • Sleeping problems
  • Broken relationships
  • Failure of any kind
  • Death or acute illness of some dear one
  • Divorce
  • Stressful life
  • Childhood abuse
  • Unemployment
  • Social isolation

Symptoms of major depression

Depression distorts ones perspective towards life. You are completely changed as a person. People who are affected by major depression cases develop a negative attitude in everything. There is always complexity in their mind without any solution.

Symptoms of depression includes

  • Feeling isolates
  • Irritability, restlessness and agitation
  • Lack of concentration
  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • No hope left
  • Feeling of helplessness
  • Feeling of worthlessness
  • Self harm and self hate feeling develops
  • Lack of interest and pleasure in any activities of life
  • Development of suicidal tendency
  • Too much sleep or insomnia

The symptoms of depression may develop in form of discouragement or anger. In case of severe depression, the psychotic symptoms develop and patients get hallucinations and delusions.

Some Exams and Tests

Whenever a patient goes to the health practitioner, he asks questions about medical health history and symptoms.  A questionnaire is made after enquiring about the medical history. After analyzing the questionnaire, the depression is diagnosed and its severity is checked. Often blood and urine samples are tested in order to know about some severe symptoms.


Treatment of depression include

  • Medications, which are usually antidepressants
  • Psychotherapy, which is usually talk therapy

In case of mild depression, one of these treatments will cure a person. People who develop severe major depression require both the treatments. It takes some time to cure a person in case of severe depression.

In case the patient develops suicidal tendency, the patient needs to be cured in a psychiatric hospital.

Some medications for major depression

The drug used is usually antidepressants

  • SSRI: selective serotonin re-uptake which includes Prozac, zoloft, Paxil, Luvox and Celexa
  • SNRI: Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, which includes Pristiq, Cymbalta and Effexor

Some other medications are:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Wellbutrin
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

In case a person develops hallucination, more medication is given. If a person does not feel good with antidepressants usually, talk therapy works. You will still have to take high doses of anti-depressant along with the therapy. Lithium and thyroid hormone supplements work well with anti-depressants.

There is an herb called St. John wort it can be obtained without prescription. It can help people who have developed mild case of depression.

Sometimes if you are taking some medicine for some health problem may also worsen depression. You must inform your doctor about all the medicine which you are taking. Your doctor might recommend a change of dose or replace it with some other drug.

Women who are taking drugs for depression, should not stop the drugs during their pregnancy or even if they are planning for pregnancy.


Some of the talk therapies include:

With cognitive behavioral therapy patients learn how to fight back negative thoughts. Patients become aware of his symptoms and learn how to spot things which worsens your depression.

With psychotherapy, patients learn about his or her thoughts and depth in each feelings and issues.

Getting along with a support group, people who are sharing same problems like you.

Some other treatments:

  • For severe depression cases, ECT Electroconvulsive therapy is very effective and safe. It improves mood swings in people and even the urge of suicide. It treats psychotic symptoms in major depression cases.
  • TMS Trans cranial magnetic stimulation stimulates nerve cells of brain by using the pulses of energy. This is believed to affect moods. This process helps in relieving acute depression case.
  • Light therapy relieves depression usually in winter time. This is the first line treatment.

Joining Support Groups also helps people from medium or mild depression cases.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Some people who have major depression often feel better after taking anti-depressants. After few weeks, positive change is seen in patients. Some people have to continue medication for almost 4 to 9 months. This prevents the returning of depression.

People who experience repeated episodes of depression requires quick and ongoing treatment procedures.

Some Possible Complications

  • Often people who are depressed start drinking alcohol or take drugs. Some complications of depressions are increased health risk and development of suicidal tendency.
  • Some points to remember. You must call your doctor right away when:
  • You start hearing voices which are actually not present
  • When you get crying spells without reasons
  • When depression is affecting your school, work and family life
  • If your current medication is causing side effects


Stop taking alcohol and drugs. These elements worsen the case of major depression. You may get urge of suicidal tendency.

You must religiously follow your medication as prescribed by doctor. Ask your doctor in case if you are developing any side effects. You must learn how to locate the early symptoms.

Some tips, which will make you, feel better

  • Exercise daily
  • Maintain good sleeping habits
  • Pursue activities which pleases you
  • Get involved with group activities
  • Talk to people whom you trust
  • Be with caring and positive people

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