Major Depressive Disorder, or, “Clinical Depression,” is a common illness causing significant distress in an individual’s social, occupational, and/or physical wellbeing. It is more common among men, and is the leading contributor to suicide (Mayo Clinic, 2000).
- Persistent sad, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness (pessimism)
- Irritability, especially in men
- Feelings of guilt and/or worthlessness
- Anhedonia – Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Psychomotor slowing
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping and/or “early morning awakening” syndrome
- Weight changes due to appetite (increased or decreased)
- Thoughts of death, suicide or possible attempts
- Pain, headaches, or cramps with no other known physical cause
Note that the symptoms for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are similar. However, it should be noted that SAD is a very different problem with a unique seasonal pattern.
**What a deep dive into how to best manage depression? Check our article, "25 Easy to Follow Tips for Battling Clinical Depression."