Major depression is the most serious depressive disorder.
We live in a very advanced society in technological and social aspects but, in fact, our pending issue is still the emotional world, those private corners where millions and millions of people are more frequently trapped.
Depression is one of the most common diseases of our time, and yet its echo remains silent and discreet, an uncomfortable reality that not everyone knows how to put on the table, how to communicate it.
When we do it, it is common for more than one to tell us that “then cheer up, that with will and some joy is overcome, you have to change the chip a bit”.
At present, most of the population continues to associate “depression” with “sadness”, as if to overcome a depression it would be enough to laugh a little more, with a change of scenery… When in reality, it is something deeper and stark.
In many cases we forget that sadness, beyond its negative connotation, has an adaptive value: it helps us to reflect, to practice that inner recollection where one faces the duels, the daily difficulties.
In major depression, sadness is not adaptive, but quite the opposite. What there is in reality is a series of very dark, sharp and exhausting internal processes that add to the person in a continued helplessness.
Today in our space we want to tell you about its main indicators.
Anhedonia in major depression
In effect, no depression is explained exclusively by “being sad” and, in fact, major depression is the one that is placed at the most tortuous and persistent end.
What is experienced above all in this type of disorder is anhedonia, and the characteristics of it are summarized as follows:
- Disinterest for what surrounds us.
- Inability to feel pleasure with anything.
- Extreme tiredness
- Constant irritability
- Lack of initiative
- Inability to actually perform any activity (and not because the person has a physical problem); it is simply that he has no energy, courage or desire…
2. There are certain symptoms that always appear
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), there must be at least 5 very specific symptoms for the person to be diagnosed with this type of disease.
Among these symptoms we can find:
- Depressive mood most of the day and almost every day.
- Loss of interest in those activities that previously pleased the person.
- Insomnia or excessive sleep.
- Climb or lose weight in a short time.
- Problems of concentration and inability to make decisions.
- Feelings of guilt.
- Extreme fatigue
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Motor slowness.
3. Aspects of exclusion and that cannot be related to major depression
The diagnostic manuals explain, in turn, that there are a series of dimensions that should not appear in the patient’s life in order to be diagnosed with this depressive disorder.
They are the following:
- Major depression cannot be associated with grief and those weeks after losing a loved one or when we live an emotional separation (remember that grief is a normal process with which to deal with a loss).
- The person can not suffer from an episode of mania, psychotic disorders or other diseases.
4. There is not a single type of major depression
Something that we must be very clear about when we talk about mental disorders is that each case is unique, each person is exceptional and has a series of own characteristics and, therefore, it is necessary to know how to attend.
Also, it is important to note that within the major depression there are two subtypes.
They are the following:
- Major depression with single episode: The person experiences this type of depression once in a lifetime.
- Recurrent major depression: In this case the reality is much more complex and, in fact, is the most common. There are many patients who have had to face a major depression already in adolescence and then more than once in adulthood.
5. What is its origin?
Major depression is a type of complex condition, with many nuances, gaps and black holes, both for the science itself and for patients.
This is because we are facing a disorder that, in general, does not have a single trigger, it is a multifactorial phenomenon.
- On the one hand there is genetics.
- The upbringing, the education received and the possible traumas experienced are factors to be valued.
- The adversities experienced in youth, as well as our social context, are also possible indicators.
- The personality of the affected is also determinant (low self-esteem, learned helplessness, cognitive problems…).
- Economic problems and these times of crisis also act as potential factors.
At the same time, we cannot forget something essential: many times it is due to a chemical problem, to a decrease in dopamine and, therefore, it is essential to always receive adequate medication.
6. Major depression has treatment
When addressing major depression we need several approaches, and in fact, the more options we have at our disposal, the better.
- The essential ones, which nobody can neglect, are psycho pharmaceuticals on the one hand and psychotherapy on the other, with the cognitive-behavioral approach being the most appropriate.
- On the other hand, we have at our disposal mindfulness or even more emotional techniques, such as rational emotional imagination, training in assertiveness or training in problem solving…
Each person must find that strategy, that door and that exit that will help him to face his depression little by little.