Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a well known psychiatric illness that can be described by symptoms such as a steady low mood and/ or a marked decrease in experiencing everyday activities. The majority of people who suffer from major depressive disorder tend to show or experience some severe type of mood disturbance. MDD has been estimated to affect nearly one out of seven people and has commonly been associated with several harmful consequences such as ncreasing risk of suicide (Clark, Watson & Mineka 2009).
MDD is known as a complex package of symptoms that is spotted out by a significant change in mood its most characteristic feature. When a person has symptoms of major depression they show signs of consistent unhappy mood, loss of interest in everyday normal activities and gaining and losing weight. They may experience some insomnia or sleep a lot, a tendency to have no energy and show a lack of concentration. Episodes of Major Depression Disorder can be triggered by highly stressful events.
Stressors capable of triggering major depression may include the death of a loved one and other significant losses such as a Job layoff; or relationship difficulties such as divorce or separation. Other more typical sorts of life changes may trigger depression as well. Even normal developmental milestones such as puberty, marriage, or retirement may serve to trigger depression when a particular event is personally distressing to a given individual.
When multiple Major Depressive Episodes occur in a row, and no manic or mixed episodes are observed, the diagnoses changes to Major Depression, Recurrent. Untreated, a Major Depressive Episode may last, on average, about 4 months (Clark, Watson & Mineka 2009). Some people only experience a single depressive episode and thereafter are symptom free. Clark, L. A. Watson, D. & Mineka, S. (1994). Temperament, personality, and the mood and anxiety disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103(1), 103-116.