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  • Sam DiFranco

Major depressive disorder

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the more severe form of depression. It’s characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that don’t go away on their own.

In order to be diagnosed with clinical depression, you must experience five or more of the following symptoms over a 2-week period:

  1. feeling depressed most of the day

  2. loss of interest in most regular activities

  3. significant weight loss or gain

  4. sleeping a lot or not being able to sleep

  5. slowed thinking or movement

  6. fatigue or low energy most days

  7. feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  8. loss of concentration or indecisiveness

  9. recurring thoughts of death or suicide

There are different subtypes of major depressive disorder, which the American Psychiatric Association refers to as “specifiers.”

These include trustedsource:

  1. atypical features

  2. anxious distress

  3. mixed features

  4. peripartum onset, during pregnancy or right after giving birth

  5. seasonal patterns

  6. melancholic features

  7. psychotic features

  8. catatonia

Persistent depressive disorder

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) used to be called dysthymia. It’s a milder, but chronic, form of depression.

In order for the diagnosis to be made, symptoms must last for at least  2years trusted source. PDD can affect your life more than major depression because it lasts for a longer period.

It’s common for people with PDD to:

  1. lose interest in normal daily activities

  2. feel hopeless

  3. lack productivity

  4. have low self-esteem

Depression can be treated successfully, but it’s important to stick to your treatment plan.

Read more about why depression treatment is important.

Living with depression can be difficult, but treatment can help improve your quality of life. Talk to your healthcare professional about possible options.

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