There are 2 different categories in the depressive disorder section.
Note that Bipolar Disorder is also a mood disorder and can be included
in this section but another section is devoted to the disorder (Bipolar
1) depressive disorder (called major depressive disorder to clinicians)
A depressive disorder is characterized when an individual experiences
the following symptoms. It is important to note that these symptoms
should be present for a minimum of 2 weeks and represent a change from
prior levels of functioning. Either a depressed mood or anhedonia (loss
of interest in pleasurable activities) must also be present.
It is worth noting that these symptoms cause significant functional
impairments in social, occupational or other areas of functioning. Furthermore,
these symptoms are not caused by any physiological effects.
dysphoria which means a depressed mood most of the day, almost every
day as observed by the individual or reported by others
anhedonia (loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable
to the individual)
a minimum of 5% weight loss or gain when one is not dieting. Also an
increase or decrease in appetite
either insomnia or hypersomnia
either increased or decreased level of mental processing
tiredness or loss of energy
feeling worthless or experiencing significant guilt
trouble concentrating or inability to make decisions
preoccupation with death or thoughts of suicide
Furthermore, a depressive disorder can be categorized as a single
episode or recurrent. A single episode basically means that the individual
is experiencing the disorder for the first time in his/her life.
Recurrent means that the individual has experienced these symptoms sometimes
in the past; there needs to be at least 2 months of interval between the
episodes for the recurrent criteria to be met.
Dysthymia is differentiated from the depressive disorder due to the
In addition, the following symptoms need to be present:
the depressed mood is persistent more days than not for a period of
These symptoms are not caused by any physiological effects. Furthermore,
they cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or
other areas of functioning.
lack of appetite or increased appetite
insomnia or hypersomnia
tiredness or lack of energy
feelings of low self-esteem
trouble concentrating or difficulties making decisions