What is MDD?

Major Depressive Disorder (or MDD) is prolonged depression. Two of the most common symptoms include sadness and loss of interest in daily activities. People can also feel a loss of motivation that is so severe it is tough to get out of bed in the morning.

In this video, Dr. Keri Peterson discusses major depressive disorder. It is normal for most people to feel blue from time to time, and fortunately most of these episodes do not last very long. However for some people, these depressed moods turn into clincial depression and affect their lives for long periods of time. This is called MDD. 

So what is MDD? Major depressive disorder is a serious medical condition that should not be taken lightly. MDD causes a range of symptoms, including both psychological and physical ones. People who have major depressive disorder often experience symptoms such as; sadess, loss of interest in daily activities, a lack of motivation, low energy, changes in sleep, fatigue, trouble concentrating and thoughts of suicide. 

This type of depression can be experienced by both men and women, but women are two times more likely to develop it. Your chances of developing MDD are higher if you have a family history of depression, or have experienced an earlier episode of depression. Those who abuse drugs and alcohol are also at higher risk, as are those who lack a strong social support system. 

Major depression is episodic, meaning it can come and go, and down moods can last for months at a time. MDD is treatable, but you must be diagnosed. If you are experiencing five or more symptoms of major depression, with at least one being a depressed mood or loss of pleasure, for most of the day, nearly every day for two consecutive weeks, talk to your doctor. It is important you work with your doctor to understand whether your down moods are due to major depression, which can be effectively treated in most cases. 

Dr. Keri Peterson

This video features Dr. Keri Peterson. Dr. Keri Peterson specializes in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and is board certified in Internal Medicine. She holds appointments at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Duration: 03:22.
Reviewed by: Dr. Preeti Parikh, Dr. Mera Goodman . Review date: September 22, 2014
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