What is the difference among minor, moderate and major depression?

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What is the difference among minor, moderate and major depression?

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There are several levels of depression, and according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH), they include:

Major depression – This form of depression includes severe symptoms that can interfere with your work, sleep, eating habit and enjoyment of life. Although some people only experience severe depression once in their lifetimes, there are others who may struggle with it several times in their life.
Dysthymic disorder/dysthymia – Also known as a moderate form of depression, the symptoms last a long time – at least two years – but are not as severe as the symptoms of major depression.
Minor depression – This form of depression is similar to the others except the symptoms are not as severe and don’t last as long.

Talk to your physician to learn more about the difference between different types of depression.

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Depression is really a catch-all term that encompasses a variety of symptoms. The severity of depression is largely dictated by the number of symptoms the person experiences and the effect these have on the persons ability to function. In this Sharepost I want to outline the determinants of three categories of depression; mild, moderate and severe depression.

In order to be formally diagnosed with depression at least one of a possible two core symptoms must be seen. The first of these is a persistent low mood and feelings of sadness, with or without weepiness. The second is motivational, specifically a marked lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities. Clustered around these two core symptoms are a further seven related symptoms relating to:

Sleep pattern disturbances.
Change in appetite.
Tiredness.
Sluggish movements or agitation.
Difficulty in concentrating or solving simple everyday problems.
Feelings of guilt and/or worthless.

In mild depression one of the core symptoms must be present and usually no more than four related symptoms. Although day to day functioning may feel a struggle it is rarely affected in any significant fashion. People with mild depression can get by without medication and may well find their symptoms begin to subside without treatment over time.

A diagnosis of moderate depression would suggest that both core symptoms are present as well as four or more related symptoms. With this level of depression there is a far higher chance that daily work and social activities are affected. The ability to concentrate and solve problems becomes significantly impaired. People with moderate depression often exhibit behavior that shows the way they feel. For example personal care may be neglected. The person often moves in a sluggish heavy fashion, with shoulder bent and head down. Facial characteristics of the person are those associated with misery; frowning, downturned mouth, sad distance-gazing eyes and drawn expression. Unfortunately some people are adept at masking their feelings which simply acts to delay much needed treatment. Symptoms of moderate depression point to the likelihood that antidepressant medication, with or without psychological treatment, will be advised.

Severe depression is almost certain to include both core symptoms and most if not all the related symptoms. Daily functioning ceases beyond the most rudimentary activities. Sometimes the person may experience psychotic features in the form of delusions or hallucinations. Typically these are consistent with themes of depression involving death, disease, guilt, or some sense of deserved punishment. Treatment is almost certain to include antidepressant medication and depending on the depth and severity may require a hospital admission. In the most severe cases ECT treatment may be advised.

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Mild depression: This condition is marked by feelings of sadness and distress persistent for short intervals of time. It is different from normal bouts of sadness, as symptoms can exist for days and eventually interrupt the daily life activities with time. The primary symptoms of the condition are irritability or anger, hopelessness, feeling of guilt, self-loathing, difficulty in concentrating at work, disruption in sleep pattern, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain, and an increased dependence on alcohol or drugs to seek temporary relief. When experiencing the symptoms for four days in a week and for more than two years, it is advisable to undergo a medical diagnosis immediately.

Moderate depression: As the name suggests, the symptoms of the condition are of moderate level. Although the basic symptoms of mood, behavior and feelings are more or less the same, people suffering from the condition are more likely to experience problems with self-esteem, reduced productivity, and feelings of worthlessness, increased sensitivities and excessive worrying. The severity of the symptoms is potential enough to make work or social life suffer. The condition can be comfortably treated with medication and therapies like Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and is easier to be diagnosed as compared to mild depression.

Major depression: Also known as severe depression, people suffering from the condition experience the symptoms at a severe level. Many times, the symptoms can even cause delusions, lethargy, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and harmful behavior. One is diagnosed with this level of depression if the symptoms have been persistent for more than two weeks across most situations. This is usually the stage when there are changes in the brain function, including the altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.

Lazoi Lifecare (Indian company) – Therefore, it is always advisable not to ignore the symptoms that may or may not be similar to that of depression. It is very important to treat the condition; if left untreated, it can lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts as well as other co-occurring mental disorders

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