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Depression: The Basics

depression: the basicsIntroduction

You may have suffered from depression or simply wonder what depression is? This article will describe the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder. In addition, this article will also provide a variety of medications used to treat symptoms associated with depression.

What Is Major Depressive Disorder?

According to, the presence of a single major depressive episode must occur for a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder to be given. However, this is not the only criteria for this disorder to be given. To explain further, according to, a person must also experience a depressed mood or a loss of interest in daily activities. However, there is more. According to, for at least a time frame of two weeks a person may also experience weight gain or loss, insomnia or hypersomnia, agitated or slowed down behavior, feeling fatigued, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty concentrating or thinking, as well as thoughts of suicide. It is also important to note, according to, the symptoms of a major depressive episode do not overlap the symptoms of a mixed episode. In addition, according to, impairment must be present in social, occupational, or an academic setting. On a final note, according to, the person’ symptoms are also not due to substance use or the death of someone.

What Medications Can Be Used To Treat Major Depressive Disorder?

In addition to the specific criteria used to provide a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, it is also worth mentioning the specific medication used to treat a person with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. According to, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors also known as SSRIs are used to treat symptoms associated with Major Depressive Disorder. Http:// states “SSRIs ease depression by affecting naturally occurring chemical messengers (neurotransmitters), which are used to communicate between brain cells. SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Changing the balance of serotonin seems to help brain cells send and receive chemical messages, which in turn boosts mood.” Hence, SSRIs boost the mood of someone with Major Depressive Disorder.


The diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder is not uncommon. Many people have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder and received proper treatment to recover and have stable lifestyles. Many people with depression have families and high paying jobs. If you have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, don’t give up. There is hope. You will still succeed. You can do it.

Depressed guy photo available from Shutterstock

Depression: The Basics

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). Depression: The Basics. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Feb 2016
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