Write a 5 pages paper on major depression and antidepressant treatment. Clinical psychologists find themselves treating major depression as a very common illness hence it is important for them to have a thorough understanding of this mental illness in order to reach a correct diagnosis (Thomas 2010). The clinical picture of the condition, diagnostic challenges, diagnostic tools, effective treatments, and recent developments regarding major depression will be elaborated in the paper.
According to the DSM-IV-TR criterion, the disorders of mood are broadly classified into “Depressive Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, and Mood Disorder due to a general medical condition and Substance-Induced Mood disorder”. The depressive disorders are further classified into “Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder and Depressive Disorder not otherwise specified”. Depressive disorders are differentiated from bipolar disorders on the basis of important historical findings. The absence of any Manic, Mixed, or Hypomanic episode classifies the mood disorder as a depressive disorder (American Psychiatric Association 2000).
A single event of depression without any occurrence of mania i.e. euphoric period, behavioral excess, or events of the display of excessive energy is termed as MDD. The major depressive episode is characterized by depressed mood or anhedonia (no interest in daily activities) for almost the whole day and these symptoms extend for at least two weeks. It is important to mention here that the severity of the symptoms should be enough to cause hindrance in the affected individual’s usual social and occupational activities. The severity of the symptoms is described on the basis of the extent to which they cause disability. A mild degree is characterized by the ability of the person to carry out his/her daily responsibilities. A moderate degree is described by the inability of the person to take interest or perform his/her obligations and the severe form of MDD is when the individual starts thinking of death or exhibits psychotic behavior or completely isolates himself/herself. An individual is diagnosed with chronic MDD when the symptoms prevail for more than 2 years (Thomas 2010).