Major depressive disorder is a combination of symptoms affecting work, sleep, and eating that may cause you to lose interest in previously enjoyed activities. Also called depression or major depression, it is a medical condition that affects how you feel, think, and behave.
Unlike dysthmia, which can last years, a major depressive disorder episode may only last two weeks. However, these disabling episodes can occur once, twice, or several times in a lifetime.
Major depressive disorder is more than just feeling down or blue. It’s a chronic illness that requires long-term treatment.
In some people, the symptoms of major depressive disorder may be severe and apparent to others. Other people, though, may be unhappy or miserable without knowing why. The symptoms of major depression are the same as with dysthmia, although for a diagnosis of major depressive disorder the patient must exhibit at least five symptoms instead of three. People suffering from major depression are also likely to experience anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure.
If you or a loved one experiences the symptoms of major depressive disorder, talk with a UT Southwestern mental health specialist.
To schedule an appointment at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas or for more information about our depression services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.