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How To Diagnose Depression?

People often say 'I am depressed'. What many don't know is that the feeling of being 'down' or 'depressed' is not the same as having the clinical disorder of 'Major Depression'

While 'Major Depressive Disorder' is a syndrome that includes depressed mood, it also includes eight other possible signs or symptoms

Here is what you need to know to tell if you or a loved one have 'Major Depressive Disorder'

Major Depressive Episode: Diagnostic Criteria

At least one of the following three abnormal moods significantly interfered with the person's life:

- Unusually depressed / sad mood most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks (Dysphoria)

- Unusual loss of all interest and pleasure most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks (Anhedonia)

If 18 years or younger, unusually irritable mood most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks

At least five of the following symptoms have been present throughout the two week period

  • Depressed / sad mood
  • Loss of all interest and pleasure
  • Appetite or weight disturbance
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Agitation or slowing
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Abnormal inappropriate guilt
  • Poor concentration
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

* As defined by APA's Diagnostic Statistical Manual