What is Major Depressive Disorder?
Depression is a common mood disorder that causes a feeling of sadness and an intense loss of interest. Depression will affect how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. With depression comes with feelings of uselessness, and that life isn’t worth living at all.
Depression may require long term treatment and isn’t something that you can just “snap out of”. People suffering fro depression can feel better with just a few remedies, such as medication and psychotherapy.
We can’t deny that depression can lead to substance use, and often times visa versa and in some cases, it is difficult to decipher which of these disorders occurred first. Many who experience depression turn to substances as a way to pull themselves out of their chronic sadness.
Symptoms of Depression:
If you experience an episode of depression, often times these symptoms can occur most of the day or even last days on end.
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Depression can also be triggered by
- Medical Conditions
- Drug and Alcohol use
- Certain types of medications
How is Major Depressive Disorder Treated?
MDD is often treated with medication and continued psychotherapy. Different lifestyle adjustments can also help ease certain symptoms. People who have severe MDD or who have thoughts of harming themselves should stay in a residential treatment program until their symptoms have improved. Lifestyle changes an individual should take to improve include:
- Eating Healthy
- Exercise and going outdoors
- Better sleeping patterns
- Don’t use alcohol or drugs