Major Depressive Disorder: Definition, Symptoms & Treatment | My Fit Brain

Learn everything you need to know about major depressive disorder. Find out what causes it, how to treat it and more here.

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Major Depressive Disorder

Human life is full of emotions. Sadness and grief are a part of life. When human experiences a dream coming true then they tend to show their feeling with happiness and joy. This may be some important deal cracking, a newborn baby, getting married to the love of your life or it may be some kind of special event for the person.

Meanwhile, when something goes wrong, then they may have some sort of grief, anxiety, stress and sometimes it takes the form of depression when not taken care of for much time. Such as the loss of a loved one, getting betrayed, getting a divorce, or serious illness. 

These feelings may be short-lived. But when they stay prolonged, they take the form of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). 

Major Depressive Disorder is also referred to as clinical depression which impacts mood, behavior, and physical functioning of the body such as appetite and sleep. Many people consider MDD as a normal thing and don't seek any treatment but it is something that is needed to ponder. 

Most people tend to treat this disorder in their own way and learn to cope up with the disorder with the treatment. Rather medication, meditation, psychotherapy, and some other methods can effectively cure MDD.

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

Your psychologist can determine whether you're suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) by looking at your symptoms. They conduct some questionnaires and are ready to listen to their answers and make their record to get to a final conclusion. 

To know whether you're suffering from Major Depressive Disorder, your symptoms must compete with the criteria listed here and that will help the psychologist to know about your disease. 

These are: 

  1. You must experience a change in your previous functioning 
  2. Symptoms must occur for a time period of about 2 or more weeks
  3. You have at least one symptom- either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.

You may also experience five or more of the following symptoms in the 2-week period:

  1. You feel sad or irritable most of the day, nearly every day.
  2. You’re less interested in most activities you once enjoyed.
  3. You suddenly lose or gain weight or have a change in appetite.
  4. You have trouble falling asleep or want to sleep more than usual.
  5. You experience feelings of restlessness.
  6. You feel unusually tired and have a lack of energy.
  7. You feel worthless or guilty, often about things that wouldn’t normally make you feel that way.
  8. Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
  9. You think about harming yourself or suicide

Why does Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) occur?

Although the exact cause of Major Depressive Disorder is unknown. But we may still consider many factors that trigger Major Depressive Disorder.  A combination of genes and stress can trigger the change in brain chemistry and it ultimately reduces the ability to maintain mood stability. 

Changes in the balance of hormones might also contribute to the development of MDD. 

Here are some reasons that can be considered as the causes of Major Depressive Disorder: 

  1. Alcohol or drug use.
  2. Certain medical conditions, such as cancer or hypothyroidism
  3. Particular types of medications, including steroids 
  4. Abuse during childhood 

Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: 

Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

1. MDD is often treated with antidepressant medications. Your lifestyle adjustments also help you out in reducing symptoms. Patients who have a severe condition of MDD may need to stay in the hospital for treatment because of their suicidal thoughts. 

2. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - It is the most frequent antidepressant medicine prescribed. This antidepressant work by inhibiting the breakdown of serotonin in the brain, resulting in higher amounts of this neurotransmitter. Serotonin is a brain chemical that is responsible for mood change and mood swings. It also helps you to improve your mood and produce healthy sleeping patterns

3. Psychotherapy - It can also be cured with psychotherapy which includes talk therapy. It includes talking about your condition and let the therapist decide your treatment plan. 

Psychotherapy is helpful in: 

  1. Adjustment in stressful events
  2. Replace negative thoughts with positive and healthy thoughts
  3. Improvisation in communication skills
  4. Find better ways to fight problems
  5. Increase in self-esteem
  6. Regain a level of satisfaction and confidence

4. Adjustment in lifestyle - Lifestyle changes can also help in reducing symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder. Getting to bed early and getting up early is the key factor in adjusting your sleep patterns and stress level. 

It helps you to balance and regulates the feel-good hormone in the brain i.e. Endorphins- the happiness hormone, Dopamine- the satisfaction hormone, Oxytocin- which is linked to relationships and helps us to build bonds with others human beings. 

5. Eat well to stay well - Eating well is the foremost key to balance stress and anxiety level in the brain. Eating nutritious food is beneficial for the mind and body and it can help you maintain healthy mental wellbeing also. 

Select the foods to eat which contain:

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids such as Salmon 
  2. Foods are rich in Vitamin B such as beans and whole grains.
  3. Foods are rich in magnesium such as nuts, seeds, and yogurt. 

6. Avoid junk food and alcohol - Because alcohol is a nervous system depressant and lowers lown the efficiency of the brain while junk food lowers down the body's metabolism and leads to many physical ailments. 

7. Exercise daily - Especially outdoor where you can get plenty of sunlight such as lawns or gardens, balconies, etc. It can boost your mood and make you feel better.

If you are suffering from any mental health issues. Feel free to contact us. Our myfitbrain team will help to solve your problem

About Author
Dr. Neha Mehta

Dr. Neha Mehta

Consultant Psychologist Hisar, India
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About Author
Dr. Neha Mehta

Dr. Neha Mehta

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Area Of Expertise : Child Counseling, Couple Counseling, Marital Counselling, Parenting, Self Improvement, Sleep, IQ Testing, ADHD, Adolescent Counselling, Stress Mgt.

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