What are the Signs of Major Depressive Disorder?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2018
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Major depressive disorder is sometimes known as clinical or major depression. It is usually characterized by general feelings of depression. Other signs of major depressive disorder include difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, physical symptoms, and suicidal thoughts.

One of the main signs of major depressive disorder is a generally depressed mood, or a general low feeling. To be diagnosed with this disorder, these feelings must be a change from a person's regular mood, and they can not be chemically induced. Many times, a person suffering from this disorder also feels hopeless about life or worthless. This change in behavior can either be admitted by the patient, or it can be witnessed by others. In teenagers and younger children, this mood change can seem more like irritability or general surliness.

With a major depressive disorder, the depressed mood typically consumes most or all aspects of a person's life. She usually gets no enjoyment out of hobbies or activities that she previously looked forward to. Many times, she will isolate herself and withdraw from her friends and social life.

Difficulty concentrating is another one of the major signs of major depressive disorder. Patients suffering from major depressive disorder often have trouble concentrating on everyday tasks. She may find it difficult to think and possibly be indecisive. To others, it may seem as though she is "zoning out."


Sleep disorders are also quite common among individuals with major depressive disorder. The majority of people with this disorder seem to suffer from insomnia, or the inability to fall and stay asleep. Hypersomnia, when a person sleeps too much, can also occur. Some patients seem to sleep most of the day and night.

If a patient with this disorder has problems sleeping at night, she will usually start to feel extremely fatigued. She will often feel tired all the time. As the individual sinks deeper into depression, other physical signs of major depressive disorder may arise. Constant headaches are also quite common, along with digestive problems.

Fluctuations in weight are also quite common in individuals with major depressive disorder. A loss of appetite often leads to extreme weight loss. On the other end of the spectrum, some sufferers have an increased appetite. This can lead to them gaining an unhealthy amount of weight.

Another one of the more serious signs of major depressive disorder is constant thoughts of death. Many patients are not afraid of death, but seem to welcome it. They may think of suicide, or plan it out. In severe cases, some depressed individuals may even attempt to take their own lives. Any suicide attempt should be taken seriously, no matter how minor it is.



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Post 1

My girlfriend is very happy for about six weeks then is totally distant and finishes with me for about 10 days. Then she says she is really sorry and that she really loves me. This has been going on for about eight months now. Why?

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