Symptoms & Treatment Options
It is part of the normal human experience to feel “down” from time to time. For most anyone, life brings a mix of positive and negative emotions. However, in some individuals, a mood disorder takes hold in the form of Major Depressive Disorder. It is important to understand that Major Depressive Disorder is a medical condition that warrants treatment. It is not just a state of feeling sad or unhappy, but rather, a chemical imbalance that affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves.
Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder impairs an individual’s ability to function in daily life. Sleep, energy, appetite, concentration, and interest in activities are often affected. Feelings of excessive guilt and worthlessness are common. In adolescents, depression tends to manifest more as irritability than overt sadness. When depression is severe, patients can become suicidal and engage in suicide attempts or self-harm. In extreme cases, patients can experience psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations (i.e., hearing voices) or delusions (fixed, false beliefs).