Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Everyone feels sad or down sometimes, and it is part of the normal human experience. Those with MDD, however, feel sad, down, or hopeless almost every day for weeks or months on end. Along with these feelings, there are several other symptoms that may indicate MDD, such as:
- Loss of Interest or Pleasure in Activities.
This includes activities that were previously enjoyed like spending time with friends or engaging in hobbies. People may find that, although they continue to engage in these activities, they just aren’t as fun or enjoyable as they used to be. They may even find themselves avoiding participating in these activities at all.
- Weight or Appetite Changes.
Some people with MDD find that they have lost their appetite. They may not get hungry at all or find that they can only eat a little bit before becoming full. This can sometimes lead to weight loss even when not trying to lose weight. On the opposite end, some people experience an increase in their appetite and eat more than they are used to. They may seek out junk foods or eat when they are feeling particularly down. This can contribute to significant weight gain.
- Sleep Disturbance.
Those with MDD sometimes experience changes to their sleep patterns. This can include problems falling asleep, wakening often during the night, or waking up early and being unable to fall back asleep. When this happens it can become difficult to feel well rested and ready to face the day. Others with MDD find that they are sleeping much more than they are used to. They may go to bed early, wake up late, or even spend most of their day sleeping.
- Fatigue or Loss of Energy.
Feeling tired and fatigued much of the time can also be a sign of MDD. People may find that even small tasks take a lot of effort and feel as though they can’t find the energy to do many things that they used to do.
- Feeling Agitated or Slowed.
Some people with MDD find themselves feeling fidgety or restless. They may feel the need to constantly be moving around and be unable to sit still and relax. Others may feel constantly slowed and sluggish. Some describe it as feeling like they are moving through a thick substance like molasses.
- Difficulty Concentrating.
A loss of concentration and inability to focus is common in those who have MDD. They may have difficulty with activities like reading, watching television, or holding conversations. This can significantly interfere with their ability to be effective at work or do well in school.
- Feelings of Worthlessness.
Those with MDD often feel completely worthless. They may believe they have nothing to contribute, no good qualities, or that their existence is pointless. They may have significant trouble identifying anything positive about themselves while exaggerating or focusing on any negative qualities.
- Thoughts of Death or Suicide.
Thinking about death is often associated with MDD. This can include fantasies about death, imagining what others would think if they were to die, or a general sense of not wanting to be alive. People with MDD often do not actually want to die, but view death as a way to end their suffering. Sometimes, however, those with depression see no way out and suicide becomes a real possibility. When this is the case, efforts should be taken to seek help immediately.
Together, these symptoms can cause significant distress and negatively affect people’s ability to function effectively.
If you or someone you know has some or all of these symptoms, it may be due to MDD. Psychologists at EBT3 are trained in using psychological assessment tools to find out whether this is the case. They are also experienced in treating MDD and the related symptoms using approaches that have been proven to be effective, such as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.
For more information about MDD, or to find an experienced psychologist, please contact us.