Every human is different, so the different reactions to stress, loss, and misfortune by a specific individual. Many of us might often feel low mood and psyche when we come across difficult situations, despair. As a result, we may lose any one of sleep, appetite, socializing ability, or all of them. And it’s a general and normal human reaction to any stressful condition and does not cause depression. Such a phase is temporary and ends in a couple of days. But if low mood and hope, bad sleep patterns, losing interest in hobbies, the guilty feeling persists for more than 2 weeks and starts affecting our social, occupational and domestic negatively then it’s no more a normal reaction to despair, it becomes a pathological one.

Major depression is generic among various human societies and even being a treatable illness, it goes undiagnosed because of the fear related to its diagnosis and looking for help. According to a study by the International Global Burden of Disease, major depressive disorder(MDD) is the third major cause of depression and of the years that are spent with a disability(the years that are spent in having less than ideal health).

The several factors of major depression can be broken down into three categories.

  • The biological cause of depression includes genes, hormones, neurological factors that cause depression. The imbalance in serotonin hormone due to the presence of a mutation in the Serotonin Transporter gene may bring psychiatric disorders.
  • Psychological causes include parental loss, child trauma, poor parenting, and family violence.
  • Social cause of depression includes bullying, criminally assaulted, and depressed working environments

Globally and majorly in the Asian region, the social-economic burden and mental illness are dreadful in which MDD has a significant contribution. A serious form of depression often results in suicide. As per the report of 2014, every 40 seconds, a person commits suicide.

Major depressive disorder is diagnosed based on the following set of 9 symptoms

  1. Depressed mood
  2. Loss of interest of pleasure
  3. Bad Appetite
  4. Feeling low energy
  5. Hypersomnia(excessive time spent sleeping)
  6. Corrupt concentration
  7. Suicidal thoughts
  8. Having worthlessness feeling
  9. Psychomotor agitation (symptoms that grow from mental tension and anxiety)

Out of these nine if any five including either Depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure is observed in an individual continuously for at least 2 weeks then it’s a state of depression. But if an individual is only clinically impaired and this criterion is not fulfilled then it is an adjustment disorder with- Depressed Mood and not MDD.  If stress symptoms occur within 2 months of the death of close ones, it is normal grief then but if it remains for more than 2 months then the diagnosis of MDD needs to be figured out. Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe. In mild, despite having symptoms the functioning is not imbalanced. In moderate type, different aspects of function would be affected. While in severe, one can have suicidal thoughts. In another extremely severe form of depression, a person starts having delusions which are called major depression with psychotic features.

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