Major Depressive Disorder: Symptoms, Treatment, and Risk Factors

Major depressive disorder also called clinical depression is one of the most severe mental health disorders. The severity of the disorder can be seen from the fact that clinical depression is among the leading causes of suicides in the world.

Yes, major depressive disorder can eventually take your life, if left untreated. Thus, an early diagnosis and immediate treatment are imperative. In this article today, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about major depressive disorder.

This guide will help you stay on the safer side as knowing about the disorder is the answer to most of your concerns. Let’s get this started:

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder 

Major depressive disorder is a lot more than stress and anxiety. It isn’t the mental exhaustion that will go away once you sleep for the night. It brings along several other symptoms that can truly make your life miserable. The following are a few common symptoms of major depressive disorder:

  • Loss of interest in everyday life activities
  • Persistent hopelessness and pessimism
  • Body aches and fatigue
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Binge eating or loss of appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts or visions of death

Besides that, sometimes it turns into psychotic depression and one starts having psychotic symptoms, too. They include hallucinations, delusions, and catatonic behavior.

Treatment Options for Major Depressive Disorder 

As per the WHO fact sheet, more than 264 million people from around the world have clinical depression. However, a diagnosis alone is not enough if you don’t pursue the treatment. Thankfully, several things can help when it comes to treating major depressive disorder. A few of them are as follows:

  • Antidepressants can help with depression by altering the number of chemicals in your brain, including dopamine and serotonin.
  • Mood stabilizers are also sometimes prescribed to people with depression. They help with mood symptoms like irritability, anger outbursts, weeping spells, and more.
  • Tranquilizers are suggested when a person with depression also has insomnia. They promote sleep, providing the time for your mind to rejuvenate.
  • Herbs and plants are quite beneficial for someone who’s depressed. Many herbs and plants like ashwagandha, passionflower, and pes Hawaiian mushrooms possess natural healing properties; hence, they’re an effective natural alternative.
  • Regular exercise is another mandatory thing. The release of endorphins in your body speeds up the process of healing while naturally eliminating symptoms like fatigue, body aches, and hopelessness.
  • Psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy, helps people with depression. It alters the way one perceives things on the inside, naturally keeping stress and anxiety away.

Risk Factors of Major Depressive Disorder 

Although the exact cause of the major depressive disorder is still unknown, numerous things can increase your chances of getting it. Here I have a list of risk factors, things that can contribute to the development of the disorder:

  • Life events, including the financial crisis, divorce, loss of a loved one, having a baby, etc.
  • Conflict such as disputes with family or personal turmoil.
  • Genetics can also play a part if depression runs in the family or in case your first-grade relatives have had depression in the past.
  • Other illnesses like chronic anxiety, longtime insomnia, and ADHD can also cause depression.

Lastly, I want you to know that depression is completely curable. All you need to do is have a positive outlook on life and I’m confident that it will pass. Get well soon, pals!

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