Encyclopedia Home / M / Major depression

Major depression

  • Alternative Names

    Depression - major; Unipolar depression; Major depressive disorder


    Symptoms

    Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you.

    People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude, unable to imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.

    Symptoms of depression can include:

    • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
    • Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
    • Very difficult to concentrate
    • Fatigue and lack of energy
    • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
    • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
    • Becoming withdrawn or isolated
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
    • Thoughts of death or suicide
    • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping

    Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness.

    If depression is very severe, there may also be psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.


    Signs and tests

    Your health care provider will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms. Your answers and certain questionairres can help your doctor make a diagnosis of depression and determine how severe it may be.

    Blood and urine tests may be done to rule out other medical conditions with symptoms similiar to depression.