Major Depression: 6 Symptoms that You Need to Know

31 March, 2019
In order to deal with the symptoms of major depression, it's essential to fall back on a combination of medication and therapy, since the cognitive behavioral focus is the most effective.

Major depression is the most serious type of depression.

We live in a very advanced society in terms of technological and social aspects. Currently, however, our pending issue continues to be the emotional world.  These are private corners where millions and millions of people stay trapped most frequently.

Depression is one of the most common illnesses in our world today. Nevertheless, its impact continues to be silent and discreet, an uncomfortable reality that not everyone knows how to deal with or talk about.

It’s common for many people to tell us to perk up and get going. Many still believe you simply need to change gears and be happy to overcome the depression.

In reality, the majority of people continue to associate depression with sadness. They think that to overcome it, you just need to laugh a little more and change your mood.  Actually, it’s something much more profound and brutal.

We forget that in many cases, sadness, beyond its negative connotation, has adaptive value. It helps us to reflect, look into ourselves, and move forward.

With major depression, sadness is not adaptive, but totally the opposite. It’s a series of internal and very dark processes.  These are acute and exhausting processes that bring down the person in a continuing defenselessness.

In this article, we’re going to talk about these symptoms of major depression.

The Symptoms of Major Depression

1. Anhedonia in major depression

In effect, being sad does not explain any type of depression. In fact, this illness in the extreme is torturous and persistent.

What people experience above all with this type of illness is anhedonia, and the characteristics take the following form:

  • Disinterest in things around them
  • Lack of feeling pleasure with anything.
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Constant irritability
  • Lack of initiative
  • Inability to carry out any activity (not because the person has a physical problem;  it is simply a lack of energy an desire to do things).

Also read: When our brain chooses to be numb so that we don’t feel

2. There are certain symptoms that always  appear

According to the Diagnostic Manual and Statistics of Mental Illnesses, there are 5 very concrete symptoms to identify this type of illness.

We can find these among the following:

  • A depressive state most of the day and almost every day
  • Loss of interest in the activities that previously the person enjoyed.
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Weight loss or gain in a short amount of time
  • Problems with concentration and inability to make decisions
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Slow movements

3. Aspects that do not relate to major depression

The diagnostic manual explains that there are also a series of dimensions that do not appear in the life of the patient with major depression to be diagnosed with depression.

Major depression cannot be associated with pain caused by the weeks after a loved one is lost. Also, it can’t be associated with breakups. Remember that this is a normal process when someone experiences a loss.

Major depression will not be diagnosed if a person experienced an episode of mania or suffers from psychosis or other types of illnesses.

Discover: How to improve mood in a natural way

4. There isn’t one type of major depression

Symptoms of Major Depression

Something that we should make clear is that when we talk about mental illness, each case is unique. Each person is different and presents a series of unique characteristics. Knowing how to treat them is essential.

At the same time, it’s important to realize that there are two types of depression.

They are the following:

  • Major depression with only one episode that the person experiences only once in life.
  • Recitative depression: this is much more complex and in fact, is more common. There are many patients who have already had major depression in adolescence and afterwards more than once in adult life.

5. What is its origin?

Major depression is a complex condition, with many mazes and black holes – as many for science as for patients.

This is because we’re up against an illness that, in general, doesn’t have one single cause, but has multifactorial causes.

  • In part, it is genetic.
  • Your upbringing, the education received and possible life traumas are also considerable factors.
  • The adversities experienced in youth, such as our social situation, are also possible indicators.
  • The personality of the individual is also a determinate (low self-esteem, cognitive problems, and learned feeling of helplessness.)
  • Economical problems and times of crisis are also potential factors.

At the same time, we can’t forget something essential: many times, this is due to a chemical problem, a lowering of dopamine and, therefore, it is always important to receive adequate medication.

6. There are treatments for major depression

Symptoms of Major Depression

When tacking major depression, we need to focus on the options that we have available.

  • The essentials, which no one can discount, are medication and psychotherapy. These are the most appropriate cognitive and behavioral treatments. Among them, cognitive behavioral therapy stands out as one of the best therapies for depression.
  • On the other hand, we have our range of mindfulness or more emotional techniques, such as rational imagination, training in assertiveness, and problem-solving techniques. These are all helpful tools for overcoming any type of depression or anxiety.

Each person should use the strategy and the gateway that helps the most in conquering their depression little by little.

Images by Agnes Cecile

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  • National Institute of Mental Health. Depression. (2018). Recuperado el 19 de mayo de 2020.