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Major Depressive Disorder – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Sadness, feeling down and a loss of interest or pleasure in daily life are natural parts of human life. But if these feelings continue and affect your routine substantially, the problem may be a mood disorder such as depression or major depressive disorder (MDD).

Major Depressive Disorder is the main cause of disability across the globe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the experts, 1 in 10 people will have depression in their lifetime.

MDD, also known as clinical depression, is a significant medical disorder that can affect many aspects of your life. It impacts mood and behavior as well as several physical functions, such as sleep and appetite.

More than just about the blues, major depressive disorder isn’t a weakness, and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. It may require long-term screening and treatment. But don’t get disheartened! Most patients with depression feel better with medication, meditation, psychotherapy, and some other treatments.

In this section, learn what depression is and what causes it. We also describe the symptoms, their treatments, and more.

What are the signs and symptoms of major depressive disorder?

Your specialist or a mental health expert can diagnose depression based on your signs or symptoms, feelings, and behaviors.

There can be different contributing factors related to the cause of your depressive disorder. Depending on the type of your depression, you may experience various signs or symptoms.

Although depression may happen only once during your lifetime, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur continuously, nearly every day, and may include:

  • Distinctly depressed or irritable behavior
  • Appearing slowed or agitated
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Loss of pleasure or interest
  • Decreased or increased appetite or weight
  • Decreased or increased sleep
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of strength and energy
  • Poor concentration or indecisiveness
  • Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or plans

Depression symptoms in children and teens

  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Clinginess
  • Anxiety
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Pessimistic attitude and worthlessness
  • Feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Avoidance of social interaction

Depression symptoms in older adults

  • Memory loss or personality changes
  • Physical pain
  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Sleep problems or loss of interest in sex
  • Often wanting to stay at home
  • Suicidal thinking

For many patients with depression, signs usually are severe enough to build noticeable issues in daily life activities, such as work, school, socialism, relationships with others. Some people may generally feel miserable or unhappy without really knowing the reason.

What causes major depressive disorder?

The medical community does not completely understand the causes of major depressive disorder. There are many possible causes, and sometimes, different factors combine to trigger symptoms.

A combination of genes and stress can affect brain functioning and reduce the strength to maintain mood stability. An imbalance of hormones might also develop a major depressive disorder.

  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Certain medical issues, such as cancer or hypothyroidism
  • Particular types of medicines, including steroids
  • Abuse during childhood

Major depressive disorder preventions

  • Take essential measures to control stress and boost your self-esteem
  • Connect with family and friends, especially in times of crisis
  • Get the right treatment at the earliest symptom of a problem to prevent the depressive disorder from worsening.
  • Go for a long-term maintenance treatment to prevent a relapse of MDD symptoms.

How is major depressive disorder treated?

A major depressive disorder is among the most treatable of mental diseases. Between 80% and 90% percent of patients with MDD eventually respond well to treatment options. Almost all patients get some relief from their symptoms.


Several classes of antidepressants are available:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Atypical antidepressants

A person should only take these medicines as their doctor or specialist prescribes. Some medicines can take some time to bring about a change. By stopping the medications, a person may not get the benefits that it could offer.


It involves meeting with a specialist or therapist on a daily basis to talk about your concern and related issues. Psychotherapy can help you:

  • adjust to a loss or other stressful condition
  • enhance your communication skills
  • replace negative thoughts with positive, healthy ones
  • find better methods to cope with difficulties and solve issues
  • increase your self-esteem
  • regain a sense of satisfaction, comfort, and control in your life

Lifestyle changes

In addition to taking medicines and participating in physical exercises, you can improve MDD symptoms by making some daily life changes.

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Avoid alcohol and certain processed foods
  • Do plenty of physical exercises
  • Sleep well

Get the best medical help at EMC Hospital

If you think that rich and wealthy people never get depressed, then you are absolutely wrong. Many famous celebrities or personalities have all gone through periods of major depressive disorder in their lives. 

You cannot avoid sadness at times in life, but you should never let this feeling take over your life. If this feeling persists in your life, you should consult the best brain specialists at EMC Group of Hospitals.

Everything at EMC Hospital begins & ends with your health at our heart. We endeavor to provide you with the best healthcare experience that includes – the most advanced and specialized treatments, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and taking care of the simple things that make a big difference.

Our highly experienced doctors or neurologists believe in strengthening lives through comprehensive care, innovative therapies, and relentless efforts.

Delivering exceptional healthcare is a way of life at EMC Hospital. It’s something we strive for every day, for everyone!

Consult us and regain healthy brain functioning!

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