Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

What is major depressive disorder?

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder that causes a loss of interest and persistent feelings of sadness. It may also be called clinical depression. MDD can make it difficult for someone to perform typical day-to-day activities and, in some cases, may cause someone to feel as though life is not worth living.

Symptoms of MDD can include:

  • Angry outbursts, frustration, or irritability, even over small matters
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, tearfulness, or hopelessness
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Sleep disturbances (e.g., sleeping too much, insomnia)
  • Trouble thinking, making decisions, concentrating, and remembering things
  • Agitation, anxiety, or restlessness
  • Increased food cravings and weight gain or reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Unexplained physical problems (e.g., headaches, back pain)
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities
  • Recurrent or frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts

How does major depressive disorder impact healthcare?

MDD can impact many areas of someone’s life, including how they think, feel, and behave. This can also lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems.

Depression generally affects someone in multiple episodes, where the depressive symptoms occur most of the day for most days.

Those with MDD benefit from seeking medical help, especially from a psychologist or psychiatrist, who can help them manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.