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Understanding Major Depressive Disorder DSM 5

major depressive disorder dsm

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It’s been very helpful that society has a greater understanding of depression. Especially when people are more understanding and accommodating of people who are suffering from it. This is part of a larger appreciation of how mental health challenges affect people, and that’s definitely a good thing. However, there are different types and degrees of depression. We’re going to look at major depressive disorder DSM 5 and what that involves for people going through it.

While only a physician can make a definitive diagnosis of the condition, having an understanding of this may be helpful. Perhaps then they can refer them to a mental health professional who can provide targeted and effective assistance.

Unlike when a person feels down or has ‘the blues’, major depressive disorder DSM 5 is a cause for immediate concern as it relates to that person’s health and well-being.

Major Depressive Disorder DSM 5 Indicators

Here is the basic major depressive disorder DSM 5 criteria:

  • Major depressive disorder DSM 5 is defined as having five (or more) of these symptoms during the same 2-week period:
  • Feeling depressed for long periods of the day every day, as indicated by subjective report or observation made by others
  • Significantly reduced interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed
  • Considerable weight loss or weight gain, defined as a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month or a noticeable decrease in the person’s appetite
  • Insomnia (inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) on daily basis
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Ongoing fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt on a daily basis
  • Ongoing difficulty concentrating, or persistent indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide or premature death

It’s important to keep in mind when evaluating whether or not a person can be suspected of having major depressive disorder DSM 5 that they do not have to have ALL of these indicators in order to be evaluated as possibly being depressed. However, there will be a need to see more than just one or two of them.

Again, however, the only person who can make an accurate and reliable diagnosis is a physician. If you suspect that you or anyone in your family is beginning to experience depression then it is important that you see a doctor, or that they do.

Major Depressive Disorder DSM 5 Criteria

This is for the most part an outgrowth of the basic indicators listed above for major depressive disorder DSM 5. The medical and mental health community’s major depressive disorder DSM 5 criteria is an expansion on the indicators, and involve:

  • Symptoms causing clinically significant distress or extreme difficulties with social, occupational, or other areas of functioning that are important to the day-to-day of the individual
  • Recurring depressive episodes are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or to another medical condition
  • These same depressive episodes are not better explained by schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, or other specified and unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
  • The individual being evaluated for depression has never had a manic episode or a hypomanic episode

Major Depressive Disorder DSM 5 Code

Being familiar with the major depressive disorder DSM 5 code is not something that will be required for the average person. Paying more attention to the symptoms of clinical depression in the above list is a much more practical approach for people with concerns about depression. However, if you do need to look into major depressive disorder DSM 5 further or you are learning what’s needed to be a mental healthcare professional then knowing the code may be needed.

The major depressive disorder DSM 5 code is 296.31.

Difference Between Depression and Sadness

For many people, the overly clinical nature of evaluating major depressive disorder DSM 5 isn’t something they’ll be inclined to do. However, they may be wanting to know whether they’re actually depressed or if it’s just extreme and prolonged sadness.

Sadness is a normal emotion that everyone will experience at some point in their lives, but the fundamental difference is that it usually can be attached to a specific trigger - an event, or more generally something specific that happened. With depression, no such trigger is needed. A person suffering from depression feels sad or hopeless without any identifiable ‘reason’ for feeling that way.

Also, for most people sadness will eventually pass or diminish considerably. With depression, the feelings of being down are pronounced and do not diminish over time. Often, they can become worse.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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