What is Major Depressive Disorder?
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a mental disorder which is characterized by extended periods of persistent and intense feelings of sadness. These periods last two weeks or longer and can affect sleeping, eating, concentration, and self-image. MDD—also known as clinical depression—affects nearly 7% of U.S. citizens aged 18 and older.
What are the Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder?
During these major depressive periods, you may experience the following:
- Loss of interest in activities you once found pleasure in.
- Changes in weight
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling tired or listless
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
You may also experience thoughts of suicide, or suicidal ideation. If you experience these thoughts, please contact your psychiatrist or an emergency helpline immediately. If calling isn’t possible, you can also text a crisis counselor 24/7.
What Causes Major Depressive Disorder?
A definitive cause has not been defined yet, but major depressive periods may be triggered by
- Substance abuse
- Certain medications, such as steroids
- Hormonal imbalance
- Medical conditions, such as cancer or hypothyroidism
How is Major Depressive Disorder Treated?
Symptoms of MDD can be lessened with certain lifestyle changes. Your physician may prescribe a chemical anti-depressant, such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), to boost the amount of available serotonin in the brain, which can be low in MDD-sufferers. Cognitive behavioral therapy is another non-chemical depression treatment available in Baton Rouge which may be able to help.
What can I do about Major Depressive Disorder?
Pick up the phone. That’s the second step. By trying to figure out whether you have major depressive disorder, you’ve already taken the first step on the road to treating your depression. Call the mental health experts of Psychiatry Associates of Baton Rouge to schedule a consultation today.