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Devotions: Authentic Christian Recovery

Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder (MDD), also called clinical depression or major depression, is a serious psychological condition characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, loss, anger, despair, or frustration. People with this disorder often have low self-esteem and have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities.

Faith overcomes depression

Major depression, however, is not simply feeling hopeless or down for a couple of days. It’s a constant sense of unhappiness and loss for weeks or longer. MDD can affect how we feel, think, and behave and can lead a person to a range of mental and physical complications, including poor job or school performance, family crisis, eating disorder, sleeping problem, loss of interest in things once enjoyed, substance abuse, and emotional numbness.

Major depression affects twice as many women as men. A study published, June 18, 2003, in the journal JAMA reported that the lifetime prevalence of major depressive disorder in the United States was more than 20% in women and 12% in men.  Faith based rehab centers have some of the highest success rates for overcoming depression.

Signs and Symptoms  of Major Depressive Disorder

Major depression symptoms are usually complex and can vary from person to person. They may also vary depending on the severity, frequency, and duration of the disorder. While some individuals have it only one time during their life, others may have multiple episodes in a lifetime.

Symptoms of major depression may include:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at home, school, or work
  • Lack of interest or loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Irritability, restlessness, or anger
  • Lethargy, fatigue, or loss of energy almost every day
  • Slowed moving, speaking or thinking
  • Drastic weight loss or gain (e.g., a fluctuation of over 5% of body weight in a month)
  • Sleep disturbances — either insomnia (inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt nearly every day
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate, remember details, or make decisions
  • Isolation from friends, loved ones, or family members
  • Frequent and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
  • Unexplained aches headaches, cramps, or pains
  • Menstrual irregularities among girls and women
  • Severe constipation 

Major Depressive Disorder Self-assessment

Do you have major depressive disorder or depression? If not sure but suspecting that you may have it, simply ask yourself the following questions to help determine whether you have the symptoms or not. If you identify yourself with two or more of the following symptoms, consider seeking professional help and support from a recovery center that specializes in dual diagnosis.

  • Do you find little interest or pleasure in all activities?
  • Do you often feel sad, depressed, or hopeless?
  • Do you have insomnia or hypersomnia regularly?
  • Do you often feel agitated or restless?
  • Do you feel more tiredness or lack of energy than before?
  • Did you have drastic weight loss or gain over the past 2 months?
  • Have you had significant changes in appetite over the 2 weeks?
  • Do you feel that you’ve let yourself or your family down?
  • Are you having difficulty concentrating on things, remembering details, or making decisions?
  • Are you moving or speaking more slowly than usual, so that others could notice?
  • Do you have frequent thoughts of death or harming yourself?

Please note that the above questions are prepared for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a screening tool for depression. Diagnosis of depression requires a thorough screening and assessment. Please contact a qualified, trained professional center like Devotions Recovery Center to receive an official diagnosis.

How to Help Someone with a Major Depressive Disorder?

If your friend, relative, or loved one is depressed, no doubt it is affecting you too. The best thing you can do is help him/her get a diagnosis and treatment. If he or she is willing to visit a doctor, make an appointment.

Your continuous help and support can make a big difference in his/her treatment and recovery. Motivate your cared one to stay in treatment. Offer patience, understanding, mental support, and inspiration.

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