major depression

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Related to major depression: bipolar disorder


1. a hollow or depressed area.
2. a lowering or decrease of functional activity.
3. in psychiatry, a mental state of altered mood characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, and discouragement; distinguished from grief, which is realistic and proportionate to a personal loss. Profound depression may be an illness itself, such as major depressive disorder (see also mood disorders), or it may be symptomatic of another psychiatric disorder, such as schizophrenia. adj., adj depres´sive.

Depression is closely associated with a lack of confidence and self-esteem and with an inability to express strong feelings. Repressed anger is thought to be a powerful contributor to depression. The person feels inadequate to cope with the situations that arise in everyday life and so feels insecure.

Treatment of profound and chronic depression is often very difficult, requiring in most cases intensive psychotherapy to help the patient understand the underlying cause of the depression. antidepressant drugs such as imipramine hydrochloride (Tofranil) and amitriptyline (Elavil) are often used in the treatment of profound depression. They are not true stimulants of the central nervous system, but they do block the reuptake of neurotransmitter substances, which may potentiate the action of norepinephrine and serotonin. monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are also used. When antidepressants fail, a different technique such as electroconvulsive therapy may be used in conjunction with the psychotherapy.
Patient Care. Mild, sporadic depression is a relatively common phenomenon experienced by almost everyone at some time, but hospitalized patients are particularly susceptible to feelings of depression and a sense of loss and despair. Early signs of depression of this kind include pessimistic statements about one's illness and its prognosis, refusal to eat, diminished concern about personal appearance, and reluctance to make decisions. When depression is noted in a patient, it should be listed on the treatment plan along with suggestions for resolving it.

When patients are depressed, they are likely to isolate themselves and avoid social contact even with those who are trying to help them. Since loss of contact with others contributes to depression, members of the health care team should persist in attempts to talk with these patients, by asking them questions, and actively listening when they attempt to express their feelings. One should be especially careful to avoid being judgmental when the patient does express despair, anger, hostility, or some negative feeling. Above all, it is important not to be condescending or to respond to statements with a meaningless cliché such as “Don't worry,” or “I'm sure everything will turn out okay.” These responses convey a lack of empathy with the patient's suffering and are an unrealistic approach to a problem that is very real.

Physical contact and touching may be misunderstood by depressed patients. Sometimes, it is better just to sit with them and calmly observe them without making them feel uncomfortable. Honest dialogue and expressions of support and concern can often improve their mood and sense of self worth.

Severely depressed patients usually express three basic feelings associated with their mental state. These are a lack of desire for socializing or physical activity, feelings of worthlessness and loss of self esteem, and thoughts of self-injury or destruction. In planning the care of the depressed patient, one must always consider these feelings and strive for some understanding of the reasons for the patient's behavior. Only by gradually gaining their attention and pointing out encouraging signs of progress can they be helped in their early attempts to return to reality and socialize with others.

Physical inactivity will require attention to adequate nutrition, a normal balance of fluid intake and output, proper elimination, and good skin care. Patients will need help in maintaining good personal hygiene. Severely depressed patients may be totally out of touch with reality and completely unresponsive to anyone else's presence. In such instances the health care provider may be able to do little more than demonstrate caring and empathy by remaining with the patient.

Consistency of care is helpful to depressed patients. They know what to expect, and thus are not repeatedly disappointed when their expectations are not met. An example is consistency in scheduling and carrying out treatments and routine care at the same time each day. A supportive family and interested friends should be involved in choosing and planning activities that are helpful.

Constant vigilance must be maintained to prevent the profoundly depressed patient from injuring himself or committing suicide. Self-destructive behavior is a manifestation of the patient's feeling of worthlessness and loss of self esteem. An awareness of the potential dangers in such a situation should help the provider plan and provide a safe and congenial atmosphere, remaining alert to the early signs of a patient's intention to harm or destroy himself. In most cases suicide is most likely to occur when the patient is recovering from severe depression.
agitated depression major depressive disorder characterized by signs and symptoms of agitation, such as restlessness, racing thoughts, pacing, hand-wringing, sighing, or moaning.
congenital chondrosternal depression a congenital, deep, funnel-shaped depression in the anterior chest wall.
endogenous depression a type of depression caused by somatic or biological factors rather than environmental influences, in contrast to a reactive depression. It is often identified with a specific symptom complex—psychomotor retardation, early morning awakening, weight loss, excessive guilt, and lack of reactivity to the environment—that is roughly equivalent to the symptoms of major depressive disorder.
major depression major depressive disorder.
neurotic depression one that is not a psychotic depression. The term is now little used but has been used sometimes broadly to indicate any depression without psychotic features and sometimes more narrowly to denote only milder forms of depression (dysthymic disorder).
postpartum depression moderate to severe depression beginning slowly and sometimes undetectably during the second to third week post partum, increasing steadily for weeks to months and usually resolving spontaneously within a year. Somatic complaints such as fatigue are common. It is intermediate in severity between the mood fluctuations experienced by the majority of new mothers and frank postpartum psychosis.
psychotic depression strictly, major depressive disorder with psychotic features, such as hallucinations, delusions, mutism, or stupor. The term is often used more broadly to cover all severe depressions causing gross impairment of social or occupational functioning.
reactive depression a usually transient depression that is precipitated by a stressful life event or other environmental factor, in contrast to an endogenous depression.
retarded depression major depressive disorder characterized by signs and symptoms of psychomotor retardation, such as burdened movements and slowed, toneless speech.
situational depression reactive depression.
unipolar depression a type that is not accompanied by episodes of mania or hypomania, such as major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder. The term is sometimes used more specifically as a synonym of major depressive disorder.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

ma·jor de·pres·sion

a mental disorder characterized by sustained depression of mood, anhedonia, sleep and appetite disturbances, and feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness. Diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode (DSM-IV) include a depressed mood, a marked reduction of interest or pleasure in virtually all activities, or both, lasting for at least 2 weeks. In addition, 3 or more of the following must be present: gain or loss of weight, increased or decreased sleep, increased or decreased level of psychomotor activity, fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, diminished ability to concentrate, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide. See: endogenous depression, exogenous depression, bipolar disorder.

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.

Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

major depression

A 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.
Clinical findings
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.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

major depression

Unipolar depression Psychiatry A form of depression with Sx that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities Clinical Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, persistent thoughts of death or suicide, difficulties in concentration, memory, decision-making capacity, behavior–changes in sleep patterns, appetite, weight; physical well-being; persistent Sx–eg, headaches or digestive disorders, that don't respond to treatment; disabling episodic MD can occur several times in a lifetime See Depression.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ma·jor de·pres·sion

, major depressive disorder (mājŏr dĕ-preshŭn, dĕ-presiv dis-ōrdĕr)
Mental illness characterized by sustained depression of mood, anhedonia, sleep and appetite disturbances, and feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness. Also called clinical depression.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

ma·jor de·pres·sion

, major depressive disorder (mājŏr dĕ-preshŭn, dĕ-presiv dis-ōrdĕr)
Mental disorder characterized by sustained depression of mood, anhedonia, sleep and appetite disturbances, and feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about major depression

Q. What is MDD? I have heard this term on the radio referring to general depression, however I wanted to know what exactly is MDD.

A. A friend I made through this service refered me to the NIMH. They have a very nice website for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) full of accurate descriptions of all the kinds of depression and other mental illnesses.

Under their Health and Outreach tab at:

Click on Depression which brings you to

and keep reading

Major depressive disorder, also called major depression, is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once–pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person's lifetime, but more often, it recurs throughout a person's life.

Q. I like to know the signs of serious major depression in women? I am lecturer in a college who is very approachable to students. If you take the top 10 lectures in the college the students will vote me first. Though I am proud of it I am not jealous. One of the clubs chose me as the best lecturer of the year and wanted me to send to another country for a special training in their own expense. Now I am here in this training which lasts for 6 more months. First week I fell home sick without seeing my students and got depressed and moreover I could not CONCENTRATE in the training and COULD NOT SLEEP. I like to know the signs of serious major depression in women?

A. If I wish if I am a student then I like to get trained under you. I am jealous of your students. The symptoms of depression in women are the same as those for major depression.
Common complaints include:
• Depressed mood Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
• Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and worthlessness
• Suicidal thoughts or recurrent thoughts of death
• Sleep disturbance (sleeping more or sleeping less)
• Appetite and weight changes
• Difficulty concentrating
• Lack of energy and fatigue

More discussions about major depression
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References in periodicals archive ?
Although not my hypotheses, results, similar to those found with PTSD, indicated that living with relatives during refugee camp provided significant protection against major depression. Forty-nine percent of those with major depression reported living with relatives compared with 74 percent of those without this diagnosis [X.sup.2](1, N = 120) = 8.37, p=.004].
The Findings "indicate that major depression emerging in the context of ADHD is an impairing and severe comorbidity with a unique set of correlates and outcomes worthy of further scientific and therapeutic considerations," Dr.
The Loyola study enrolled 64 adults with major depression and 37 adults with bipolar disorder.
The relationship of major depression to ACCORD'S macrovascular outcome reached borderline statistical significance (HR, 1.42), but major depression was not significantly related to ACCORDS primary composite outcome (HR, 1.53) or microvascular composite outcome (HR, 0.93).
Non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanics of other races were all more likely to report major depression (4%, 4%, and 4.3%, respectively) than were non-Hispanic whites (3.1%).
None of the women had a history of major depression.
Certainly, there are psychosocial issues that can exacerbate the disorder or bring out an underlying biological tendency to have major depression as a child," said Dr.
Physicians are more likely to encounter women with major depression than with PMDD because 15%-20% of women have major depression at some time in their lives while only 3%-5% have PMDD, she noted.
Major depression makes it almost impossible to carry on usual activities, sleep, eat, or enjoy life.
"Our analysis indicates that one in 20 nonpregnant women of childbearing age experience major depression," the authors write.
ISLAMABAD -- Don't sleep deprive yourself as it may be a precursor for major depression as you reach adulthood occurring before other symptoms of major depression and additional mood disorders hit you hard.
Washington, October 26 ( ANI ): Vulnerability to major depression is determined by how satisfied we are with our lives - and this relationship can be largely attributed to genes, researchers have suggested.

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