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Major depression is the most common psychiatric disorder. According to the World Health Organization, it is the leading cause of disability worldwide among people aged 5 years and older. About 10% of men and 25% of women experience major depression at some time in their lives. Approximately 20 million people a year suffer depressive illness in the U.S., where the negative impact of this disease on the economy is estimated at $16 billion annually. Risk factors for depression are drug or alcohol abuse, chronic physical illness, stressful life events, social isolation, a history of physical or sexual abuse, and a family history of depressive illness. Depression can be masked by substance abuse. In old people, it may be mistaken for senile dementia, and vice versa; the two may coexist. The disorder is believed to result from an electrochemical malfunction of the limbic system involving disturbances in the metabolism of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. In people with familial depression, the number of glial cells in the subgenual prefrontal cortex is significantly smaller than in mentally healthy people. Treatment with psychopharmaceutical agents, including tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, and others, effectively controls most cases of clinical depression. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy has demonstrated some success in reversing depression. Refined methods of electroconvulsive shock therapy (ECT) are used in cases that do not respond to other treatment. Even in severe depression the response rate with ECT is 80% or higher. This mode of therapy has a faster onset of action, causes fewer side effects than drug therapy, and is particularly useful in elderly patients.
major depressionA mental disorder characterised by severe depression lasting essentially without remission for at least two weeks, with symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.
Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, persistent thoughts of death or suicide; difficulties in concentration, memory and decision-making capacity, behaviour (changes in sleep patterns, appetite, weight), physical well-being; persistent symptoms (e.g., headaches or digestive disorders) that do not respond to treatment; disabling episodic major depression can occur several times in a lifetime.
clinical depressionPsychiatry Persistent sadness or loss of interest in activities for ≥ 2 wks in absence of external precipitants DiffDx Grief, bereavement Clinical Changed eating habits, insomnia, early morning wakening, ↓ interest in normal activities, depressed mood, fatigue, suicidal ideation. Cf Bereavement.
Patient discussion about clinical depression
Q. I want to know what causes clinical depression? My friend is diagnosed with clinical depression. He is showing signs for the past six months. We found this when he lost interest in music which was his soul before. He lost interest in all other activities including hang out with us. We were wondering what could be the reason for the drastic change in his behavior. Very recently he stopped attending school also. We have tried to contact him but in vain. Then we got to know from his brother that he feels very low and depressed and is diagnosed with clinical depression? I want to know what causes clinical depression?
Q. What's the difference between clinical depression that needs treating, and just regularly being depressed? I'm often depressed, and i just wondered what the difference is between just being depressed, and clinical? At what point does depression become depression?
Q. What's the difference between the depressions of the bipolar disorder and clinical depression? How can I differentiate between the two? Thanks