This series of articles will give a brief overview of the different types of depression, this article will focus on Major Depression Disorder. If you are looking for a definition of a specific type of depression that is not Major Depression Disorder click one of the links below.
Bi Polar Depression
Post Natal Depression
Major Depression Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder may also be referred to as clinical depression, major depression, unipolar depression, or unipolar disorder. Major Depression Disorder is categorised by a person suffering persistent mood levels that are unnormally low, feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities that are usually found exciting or stimulating. Sufferes will also note a change in eating habits, sleeping habits, and general health may also be affected. Usually sufferes will experience a loss of appetite and asscoiated weight loss although it is occassionally noted that an increase in appetite has been experienced. Sufferers will also usually suffer from insomnia, although once again there are some cases where suffrerers will start to oversleep.
Sufferers of Major Depression Disorder usually have low energy levels and will commonly have feelings of hopelessness and despair, and will usually experience low self-esteem. Major Depression Disorder is a very serious mental illness that will create a significant adverse affect on the sufferes social and work life, it also has a very high suicide rate, about 3%. Sufferes should seek professional medical advice.
It is noted that Major Depressive Disorder is commonly diagnosed in people aged between 30 and 40, possible because this is a common age bracket where people start to question what is happening in their lives, ie. where are the going. Studies note a second peak of diagnosis between the ages of 50 to 60 years. Interestingly women are diagnosed approximately twice as often as men, although it is men who are more likely to consider suicide.
Treatment of Major Depression Disorder can include mood stabilising medication, and Psychotherapy. In the more extreme case an in particular the cases where self harm is a possibility the sufferer of bipolar depression my be committed to a psychiatric facility, often involuntarily.
Major Depression Disorder will take over the lives of sufferes and will be a significant issue for people associated with the sufferer. The sufferer will experience a change in mood that will affect all activities in life. These effects vary from a mild to extreme effect and can be loosly described as a loss of motivation to complete an activity, and / or a loss of ability to extract pleasure from previously enjoyable activities.
People suffering Major Depression Disorder will be preoccupied with thoughts of how bad things are. It is as if they are looking to find the worst in each situation. It is important for support people to make sure that they do not try to simply "cheer up" the sufferer by pointing out how goods things are. This may oftenhave the reverse of the intended effect as the suffer may start think "why can't i see that" or even "you just don't get it". People supporting the sufferer are a very valuable ally in the treatment of Major Depression Disorder and should be involved and professionally councilled themselves on how best to support the sufferer.