When you hear people use the term “clinical depression,” they usually refer to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), the most common type of depression. Here we will be discussing what Major Depressive Disorder is, the symptoms and criteria of Major Depressive Disorder, and treatment options for Major Depressive Disorder.
What’s Major Depressive Disorder?
Major Depressive Disorder (depression) is a serious medical condition that can negatively impact your mood, behavior, and thinking. Depression can cause sadness and/or loss of interest in once-exciting activities. Depression can cause many physical and emotional problems that can impact your ability to work or impact you at home. Luckily, Major Depressive Disorder is treatable.
Signs and Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder
Several clinical diagnostic criteria play a role in diagnosing MDD. A person must satisfy five or more of the nine clinical diagnostic criteria to receive a formal diagnosis. These symptoms must have been present for at least two weeks, for more days than not, and cause distress or impairment to their functioning. Moreover, symptoms of depression cannot be due to medications, drugs, another psychological disorder, or general medical conditions, such as a head injury or thyroid condition.
DSM-5 states that to meet the criteria for MDD, the person must meet 5 of the following nine symptoms and experiences these symptoms for more days than not for at least two weeks.
- They experience sadness or hopelessness for most of the day.
- Experience feelings of extreme guilt
- They have difficulty concentrating.
- Lost interest in things they used to enjoy.
- They have experienced an increase or decrease in appetite, along with significant weight gain or weight loss.
- They experience changes in sleep – difficulty either falling asleep or constantly waking up; or sleeping too much
- Feel low energy or fatigue
- Experience psychomotor retardation or agitation
- They have thoughts of self-harm, death, or suicide.
Can Major Depressive Disorders Be Cured?
Experiencing depression can be difficult. Unfortunately, depression can’t disappear from one day to the next. Fortunately, symptoms can remit, be reduced, managed, or even remit.
Treatment vs. Cure
the word “cured” means that an ailment is gone forever. Some diseases are curable, while others are not. For example, diabetes is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured but is treated and managed. With the appropriate treatment, people with diabetes can have long and healthy lives. MDD is similar – even though there is no cure for Major Depressive Disorder, there are effective treatments that can help people recover from depression and help them improve their quality of life.
Treatment options for Major Depressive disorder include medication, therapy, and lifestyle modifications. A combination of medication and psychotherapy is considered to be most effective. However, every person is unique, so it’s essential to find what works for you. A licensed clinical psychologist can provide psychotherapy and create a Major Depressive Disorder treatment plan to treat your symptoms and prevent further episodes. A psychiatrist can help with medication management.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy are both evidence-based psychotherapies found to be effective in treating depression.
Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment (CBT)
CBT proposes that individuals with depression have a dysfunctional view of their experiences, themselves, and future, known as the cognitive triad. A clinically depressed person may likely see themselves as incapable and helpless, see others as judgmental, critical, and have a bleak and unrewarding view of the future. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps individuals recognize and reframe maladaptive and dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors. Research supports the effectiveness of CBT for all ages. CBT can also be used to prevent relapse.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is an efficacious treatment that is time-limited and treats Major Depressive Disorder. This treatment aims to reduce or eliminate depressive symptoms by improving the quality and functioning of the patient’s interpersonal relationships.
There are many types of antidepressants available to treat Major Depressive Disorder. Medications will not work the same for every person; you may need to try different medications or a combination of medicines before finding the one that works for you. It is imperative to speak with your doctor or psychiatrist to help find the antidepressant medication that would work best for you.
Major Depressive Disorder Treatment in Miami, FL
Depression can be scary and debilitating but you are not alone. There is hope!
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Carolina Raeburn, PsyD today.
Hello, I’m Dr. Carolina Raeburn, a licensed Clinical Psychologist with a subspecialty in neuropsychology in Miami. I help people with emotional concerns and those adjusting to life changes. I offer coaching and bespoke psychotherapy for individuals and couples, providing cognitive behavioral therapy, depression treatment, anxiety treatment, panic attack treatment, stress management, as well as help those going through life changes, such as grief and loss, chronic and terminal illness, injuries, retirement, perfectionism, and much more.
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*All the information published in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Any information provided here is offered in generic form. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.