The medical term for this is Unipolar Major Depression

MAJOR DEPRESSION (The medical term for this is “Unipolar Major Depression”)

The medical term for this is Unipolar Major Depression1 200x300 The medical term for this is Unipolar Major DepressionTo qualify for the diagnosis of major depression, for at least 2 weeks you should have had one of the following two core symptoms:

Either, a persistent and severe depressed mood — i.e., you feel sad, helpless or hopeless, and may have crying spells.

Or, loss of interest or pleasure in normal daily activities — that is, activities you used to enjoy such as eating, sex, work, friends and hobbies.

In addition, you should show at least 4 of the following symptoms:

Sleep disturbances. Either you have a problem sleeping, or you sleep too much. Waking in the middle of the night or early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep are typical.

Changes in appetite or weight. You may experience significant weight loss when not dieting, or on the other hand, significant weight gain. Or, there may be an increase or decrease in appetite.

• Changes in levels of physical and / or verbal activity. You may become restless, agitated, irritable and easily annoyed. You may wring your hands, pace the floor or not be able to sit still. Conversely, you may have sluggish movements or speech. You may pause before answering questions or starting an action. You may speak quietly or not be able to be heard. These feelings of restlessness or of being slowed down are not just subjective, but are observable by others.

Fatigue and decreased energy level. You feel weary and low on energy nearly every day. You may feel as tired in the morning as you did when you went to bed the night before. You may feel like you’re doing everything in slow motion.

Impaired thinking or concentration. You may have trouble thinking, concentrating or making decisions, as well as problems with memory.

Low self-esteem. You may have feelings of worthlessness and excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).

• Thoughts of death or suicide. You may have recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying). You may think about committing suicide or actually engage in suicidal actions.

Importantly, your physician must rule out that none of these symptoms are due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).

In some cases, major depression may be accompanied by psychotic symptoms, marked by loss of contact with reality (delusions; hallucinations).

You may experience a single episode or recurrent episodes. (It is common for episodes to recur)

Major depression does also occur in children and adolescents, but symptoms may take a different form. For instance, instead of the core symptom of sadness, they may show irritability. Other signs to watch out for in these age groups include: failure to make expected weight gains; refusal to go to school; poor performance in school; frequent physical complaints (e.g., stomach pain, headaches)

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