Diagnosis Depression: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

This is the beginning of a series on depressive disorders starting with MDD. I want to keep the posts short and to the point, less than 500 words each. 

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is very common. The lifetime and 12-month prevalence are 13-17% and 6-7% in American adults over the age of 18. For adults under the age of 50, it’s twice as likely to affect females when compared to males. MDD is associated with high rates of psychiatric and medical morbidity, impaired work function, and disability. 

DSM-5 Criteria for Diagnosis

To diagnose MDD you must have at least 5 of the following symptoms over the same two-week period. At least one of the symptoms must be depressed mood or loss of interest. 

The symptoms are as follows, depressed mood; diminished interest in pleasurable activities; changes in appetite either increased or decreased; insomnia or hypersomnia (increased sleep); psychomotor agitation (restlessness) or retardation (slow movement); decreased energy; guilt or feelings of worthlessness; diminished ability to concentrate; and recurrent thoughts of suicide. These symptoms must occur every day or nearly every day and last all day over that same two-week period. The symptoms can be either a subjective account, observed by others, or some combination of both.

It must cause significant disruption in social, occupational, and other important areas of function. It cannot be caused by a medical condition or substance use. 

Specifiers for MDD

Mild; Moderate; Severe; without psychotic features; Severe with psychotic features; in partial remission; in full remission; chronic; with catatonic featureswith melancholic features; with atypical featureswith post-partum onset; with or without full inter-episode recovery; and with seasonal pattern. 

In the next post we will cover the highlighted specifiers and what specific symptoms separate them from each other. Please like, share, and comment we want to hear from you. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑