Major depression also known as major depressive disorder and clinical major depression is the most severe category of clinical depression.
Patients afflicted with major depression usually experience many symptoms of depression with severe intensity. These patients are not able to function normally.
They cannot go to work or school, they do not socialize, and they usually have problems with sleeping and eating as well as controlling their temper, low sexual drive, problems concentrating and so on.
Alcohol abuse is closely related to major depression as well as drug problems. This is why people that suffer from major depression often have problems with substance abuse. Alcohol and depression should never be mixed because alcoholism is the last thing that a depressive person needs due to the fact that alcohol is a depressant
Symptoms of Major Depression
• Unexplained physical pain
• Eating disorder
• Complete loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
• Substantial weight gain or loss
• Restlessness, irritability, anger, agitation
• Thoughts about death or suicide
• Suicide attempt
• Intrusive thoughts such as thinking about homicide
• Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
• Having almost no energy
Important things to know is that these symptoms as well as many other depression symptoms are very intense in major depressive disorder. Some mildly depressed persons with chronic depression might experience the same symptoms as a major depressive patient, however, there is a big difference in severity of their symptoms.
What Causes Major Depression
Even though it is still unknown what exactly causes this disorder, it can be said with certainty that major depressive disorder is caused by a mixture of these things:
• Genetic predisposition
• Severe stress
• Alcoholism or drug abuse
• Severe interpersonal problems
Types of Major Depression
There are two main types of major depressive disorder: major depressive disorder single episode (when major depression occurs once) and major depressive disorder recurrent (when major depression occurs more that once).
A single episode of major depression should be treated continuously for a year. Two episodes of major depressive disorder should be treated continuously for three years. Three or more episodes should be treated for life.
Major Depression Treatment
Major Depression Medications: Antidepressants are an important part of major depressive disorder treatment because they relieve the patient from their dreadful and painful symptoms.
This enables the patient to take part in psychotherapy where psychological problems that have caused depression are treated. In other words antidepressants treat the symptoms of depression and psychotherapy treats the cause of it.
Interpersonal Therapy: Interpersonal therapy is a promising depression treatment and it usually lasts for about one year.
This therapy is developed for depression treatment, specifically major depression.
This is why it is quite successful in treating major depressive disorder.
Interpersonal therapy focuses on the “here and now” factors that are contributing to major depression. Its goal is to locate and fix the problems that are causing or/and nourishing major depression. Interpersonal therapy is looking for those problems in the present and not in the past as psychoanalysis does.
For example, problems in relationships between patients and people around him or her, definitely can contribute to major depression and sometimes even cause it. Interpersonal therapy teaches the patient how to better solve relationship problems, cope with them and socialize in general which is essential for recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
According to cognitive-behavioral therapists, major depression is caused and maintained by self-rejection, self-criticism and dysfunctional behavior. Therefore negative thoughts and dysfunctional attitudes are addressed and worked on.
In this therapy, therapists are focused on the way you think and behave and will try, together with you, to change unproductive and unwanted ways of thinking and behaving. One of the ways this is done is with homework assignments which are assigned so that patient’s vicious circle of negative thinking and behaving is stopped.
Major depression, even though it is the most severe type of depression is successfully treated. This is why you or your loved one should not suffer any longer. If one type of treatment did not work for you, some others will for sure, you just have to find it. Remember the old saying: “Whenever you think that there is no way out, there are at least three”.