Major Depressive Disorder or MDD is characterized by an all-encompassing low mood, partnered with low self-esteem and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. It is a disabling condition which adversely affects a persons family, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits and general health.

The diagnosis of major depressive disorder is based on a patients self-reported experiences, behavior reported by relatives or friends and a mental status examination. There is no laboratory test for major depression. If depressive disorder is not detected in the early stages it may result in a slow recovery and affect or worsen the persons physical health.

Depression symptoms include the following:
Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
Insomnia or excessive sleeping
Changes in appetite
Agitation or restlessness
Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements,
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things arent going right
Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
Reduced sex drive

About 80% of people who get help for their depression have a better quality of life they feel better and enjoy themselves in a way that they weren’t able to before. Treatment for depression can include talk therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Talk therapy with a mental health professional is very effective in treating depression. Therapy sessions can help people understand more about why they feel depressed, and ways to combat it.