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Symptoms of a major depressive episode

What is a major depressive episode?

A major depressive episode is defined as an episode during which a person is shown to be exhibiting symptoms of major depressive disorder while not necessarily exhibiting all of the symptoms of major depressive disorder itself. Someone who is experiencing a major depressive episode is not always able to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, although it is common for people who experience these depressive episodes to have a depression diagnosis. Major depressive disorder, which is also known as clinical depression or clinical depression, refers to a mental disorder which is characterized by frequent episodes of low mood, low self-esteem, and other negative emotions and symptoms which can lead to an overall feeling of depression. People with major depressive disorder will also experience major depressive episodes on a recurrent basis.

Symptoms of a major depressive episode

Symptoms of a major depressive episode
The DSM-IV lists several formal criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode. For an individual to be diagnosed with a major depressiveepisode they must technically experience at least five of the formal criteria symptoms for at least a two-week period; it is also required for depressed mood or a decreased interest in enjoyment and pleasure to be one of those five symptoms. The following are the most commonsymptoms, listed as formal criteria in the DSM-IV, which can lead to a diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

Low mood: An individual experiencing a major depressive episode will report a lowered mood, or a depressed mood, for the majority of their waking hours. Other people familiar with the individual may also report that they appear to have a depressed mood and that the depressed mood is unusual for them or unusually low.

Anhedonia: A person going through a major depressive episode may exhibit the symptom of anhedonia, the formal term for "a loss of interest," which refers to the loss of interest in pleasure and activities which were formerly enjoyable. People with this symptom frequently feel as if they don't care about anything anymore or that things which were formerly important are no longer meaningful.

Symptoms of a major depressive episode
Sleep disturbances: Someone experiencing a major depressive episode may be experiencing sleep disturbances such as sleeping too much, or hypersomnia, or sleeping too little, or insomnia. Often, someone who is sleeping too much will still feel tired and exhausted, despite getting more than enough sleep to feel well rested.

Motor activity disturbances: An individual who is experiencing a major depressive episode will often exhibit disturbed or delayed motor functions; they may react much slower to stimuli, for example, or they may be moving—walking, carrying about detail activities, etc.—at a sluggish pace.

Low self-worth and thoughts of death: Someone who is going through a major depressive episode may experience a drop in self-worth and begin to feel as if they are worthless or meaningless. They may also report thinking often of death—suicidal thoughts are common, although thoughts of death without a clear thought of suicide or suicide plans are also common.
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