Depression or Major Depressive Disorder or Severe Depression: symptoms, risks and management

Hello Friends!

Do you know someone who feels low or sad, sometimes or most of the times and wonder whether they have depression?
Don’t worry, You come to the right place for the right information from the right person.

In this video, we will talk about what is Major Depressive Disorder or Severe Depression, its common symptoms, risks and their management.

What is depression or Major Depressive Disorder?

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders affecting 2% to 5% of the population. Almost everyone at some point in their life feels that they are struggling with depression.

However, to diagnose depression, one must have persistent sad or low mood most of the time without any apparent reason and its nonreactive to circumstances. That means a person is mostly sad without any reason and doesn’t feel happy in joyful circumstances (Anhedonia). Depression usually comes in episodes and the minimum agreed duration of the episode is two weeks, however, it may last up to two years. Average duration is three to nine months.

Therefore, feeling sad or unhappy in response to adverse situations is not depression.

This is often accompanied by lack of energy or tiredness, lack of motivation or inability to obtain pleasure in usual activities.

Symptoms of Depression:

Apart from low mood or sadness, lack of energy, lack of interest and pleasure, a person may have the following symptoms;

1. Biological symptoms: disturbed appetite or weight loss, disturbed sleep or early morning awakening, loss of libido/sexual desire and diurnal variation of mood.

2.Cognitive symptoms: Poor memory, poor concentration or lack of attention

3.Depressed Cognition: Low self-esteem and poor confidence, feeling of guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness. Frequently, it can also lead to suicidal ideas and attempts.

What causes Depression:

Nothing can be said conclusively but research had shown the role of Serotonin which is usually in low concentration in the brain of depressive patients. Other factors include genetic predisposition and difficult life circumstances.

Risks in Depression:

People may self-neglect and if severe may lead to suicidal attempts and loss of life. Undoubtley it leads to poor work performance, problem in relations and significant morbidity.


1. No diagnostic test can prove Depression but may rule out other physical health issues causing the same symptoms.
2. Mild to Moderate cases should be treated with talking therapy including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
3. If no response to therapy, or severe depression, antidepressants should be used.
4. In treatment-resistant cases or if personal is actively suicidal or cannot tolerate medications, Electroconvulsive therapy may be used.

There is more to talk about depression and if you have any question, do comment and ask. I will gladly reply.

Thanks for reading and watching! Like and subscribe for more information.

Dr Subodh MD MRCPsych