Depression is a mood disorder in which a person loses interest or pleasure in life. Leading symptoms of depression include feeling hopeless, worthless, and a loss of energy.
Clinically speaking, depression may be diagnosed as one of several different types of depressive disorders: major depressive disorder, dysthymia, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, substance/medication-induced depressive disorder, depression caused by another medical condition, or unspecified depressive disorder.
Major depressive disorder (clinical depression) is diagnosed when a person experiences a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure with feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness on most days during at least a two-week period. Children or adolescents may demonstrate irritability. In addition, a diagnosis for major depressive disorder requires at least four of the following symptoms to be experienced on most days:
Dysthymia, also known as persistent depressive disorder, is less severe than major depressive disorder. It is characterized by a depressed mood for most of the day, on more days than not, for at least two years. In addition, dysthymia is diagnosed when a person experiences two or more of the following symptoms:
Mental Health Library Sources:
Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.
Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.
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