Affecting approximately 1 in 33 children, 1 in 8 adolescents, and 1 in 15 adults, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of the most common behavioral health disorders in the United States. MDD is a mood disorder characterized by a persistent and pervasive low mood accompanied by several symptoms that impact daily functioning.
Recognizing Major Depressive Disorder
- Loss of interest in activities, loss of enjoyment in hobbies and social activities
- Change in appetite or weight (loss or gain)
- Change in normal sleeping pattern (too little or too much), frequent naps during the day, staying up late into the early morning hours
- Restlessness (pacing, fidgety, can’t sit still feeling) or a slowing of movement (sluggish, heavy, in bed all day)
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt; low self-esteem
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or dying; suicidal thoughts
Recommended Treatment For Major Depressive Disorder
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered an extremely effective evidence based treatment method for MDD. Studies estimate that up to 87% of patients experience significant symptom reduction after a course of this type of treatment. CBT consists of recognizing the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Once this connection is made, healthy expression of feelings and challenging of unhealthy thoughts is introduced as a method of changing undesirable behaviors. The practice of these skills both in session and out of session is important.