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Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder

Everyone experiences feelings of sadness. But, those living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life. Those living with this disorder may not be able to undertake typical daily tasks and responsibilities due to the severe symptoms of MDD. Fortunately, professional treatment and therapy can help people diagnosed with this mood disorder overcome symptoms and take back their lives.

Signs and Symptoms of Major Depression

To receive a diagnosis for MDD, a person must be experiencing signs and symptoms of this disorder for at least two weeks. There are many symptoms that can help a doctor determine a diagnosis, so individuals may not experience all of the symptoms. But, traditional symptoms of this disorder can include:

  • feeling exhausted and tired on a daily basis
  • inconsistent sleeping patterns (too much sleep or not being able to fall asleep)
  • disinterest in previously enjoyed activities and interest
  • repetitive feelings of guilt, shame, loneliness, hopelessness, and worthlessness
  • having thoughts of death, hurting oneself, or taking one’s life
  • changes in body weight
  • inability to make decisions and a lack of focus

What to Expect From a Mental Health Assessment to Determine a Treatment Plan for Depression

If you think that you or a loved one may be living with MDD, to receive a diagnosis, a mental health assessment must be conducted. Here’s what can you expect from one of these assessments:

Determining Criteria of the DSM-5: The DSM-5 is a diagnostic tool for mental health ailments that practitioners use to determine accurate diagnoses. During the assessment, you or your loved one will be asked questions. These questions are in regards to the requirement criteria in order to make a diagnosis based on this diagnostic tool. This includes whether or not you or your loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.

Physical Assessment: Assessing a person’s physical health can sometimes point to the cause of the development of MDD. So, a physical assessment is helpful in the diagnostic assessment. Be prepared to answer questions about your physical health as well as undergo some physical testing during the assessment.

Psychological Assessment: During the assessment process, a psychological assessment can help to determine if there are any underlying or concurring psychological factors that may contribute to an MDD diagnosis.

Medical Assessment: Along with physical and psychological assessment, your team of specialists may want to determine whether or not there are any underlying medical issues that can contribute to symptoms of MDD. This may include a blood test to determine hormone levels, thyroid function, etc.

Some Causes of Depression

Identifying the reason for the development of MDD can help to determine the best route of treatment. This way, individuals living with this condition can get the best care. Additionally, they can receive optimal tools to manage symptoms of depression. Some of the common causes of the development of MDD include:

Mood Disorders: Concurring mental health issues can actually lead to the development of MDD symptoms. These mental health issues can include bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, Cyclothymic disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.

Hormonal Disorders: Hormonal imbalances can lead to the development of depressive symptoms and the eventual development of MDD. These hormonal issues can include hypothyroidism and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Substance Use Disorder: The cycle of addiction and the physical symptoms it can bring upon the body can contribute to the development of Major Depressive Disorder. Specifically, substance use disorder is the most common concurring disorder that accompanies Major Depressive Disorder, so it’s the most commonly diagnosed concurring issue with this disorder.

Treatment Plan for Depression and Concurring Issues

Finally, t’s important to determine if a person is dealing with concurring issues that contribute to the development of MDD. This way, the correct treatment plan for depression is identifiable. Fortunately, there are many approaches to treating Major Depressive Disorder. And, many are available for those living with this condition at Yellowbrick.

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Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.

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    Real-Time Treatment for Emerging Adults and their Families

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    A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.

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