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How is a 'major depressive episode' defined? What symptoms must a peson have?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeff Jacobs
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
4 doctors agree

In brief: Not just sad

A major depressive episode, or major depressive disorder is not just feeling sad.
It is a serious brain disease with wide ranging effect. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Symptoms include bad mood (usuly sad, but might be mostly irritable), changes in sleep, energy, appetite, weight, motivation, concentration, anhedonia, thoughts of suicide, and, in severe cases, even psychotic symptoms.

In brief: Not just sad

A major depressive episode, or major depressive disorder is not just feeling sad.
It is a serious brain disease with wide ranging effect. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Symptoms include bad mood (usuly sad, but might be mostly irritable), changes in sleep, energy, appetite, weight, motivation, concentration, anhedonia, thoughts of suicide, and, in severe cases, even psychotic symptoms.
Dr. Jeff Jacobs
Dr. Jeff Jacobs
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Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depressive Episode

In major depressive episode, 5 or more of following symptoms present for 2 weeks & a change from normal: depressed mood; loss of interest/pleasure in activities; >5% weight change in a month; insomnia/hypersomnia; psychomotor agitation/slowing; fatigue; feelings of worthlessness/inappropriate guilt; decreased concentration or indeciciveness; recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation or plan.

In brief: Depressive Episode

In major depressive episode, 5 or more of following symptoms present for 2 weeks & a change from normal: depressed mood; loss of interest/pleasure in activities; >5% weight change in a month; insomnia/hypersomnia; psychomotor agitation/slowing; fatigue; feelings of worthlessness/inappropriate guilt; decreased concentration or indeciciveness; recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation or plan.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Dr. Pamela Pappas
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