The Causes of Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder, sometimes called clinical depression, is an extremely serious mood disorder. It causes prolonged or chronic periods of depressed mood that can negatively affect the everyday life of the sufferer. A person with major depressive disorder (mdd) or even occasional depression (affective disorder) will frequently experience a loss of appetite for at least 2 weeks or longer and a persistent or long-term low mood. They may also have problems sleeping and experience significant anxiety.
Another symptom of major depressive disorder is irritability. You may experience frequent periods where you feel as if you cannot cope with life and that nothing seems to go right. You may also frequently experience sudden switches from feeling good to feeling bad and then experiencing feelings worse than these earlier episodes. In the winter months, you may experience oversleeping again. Your physical symptoms such as fatigue and loss of sleep will be magnified because you are sleeping less and not sleeping so much.
There are a number of different causes of this condition. Some research has shown that a number of medical conditions, including chronic medical conditions such as asthma and hypoglycemia, and certain personality traits such as perfectionism or hyperactivity, can lead to a greater likelihood of developing MDD. Additionally, other researchers believe that changes in hormone levels, such as those related to menopause, pregnancy, and menstruation, can also increase the risk. Other research has shown that genetics may play a role, as well. However, other causes still remain controversial. Most medical professionals agree that major depressive disorder is brought about by a combination of biological, emotional, and environmental factors.
Recent studies have shown that there are biological causes of major depressive disorder. Because depression is often related to the changes in hormone levels, it stands to reason that hormones could play a role in causing or perpetuating the problem. There is a strong genetic component to MDD, meaning that if one or both parents or someone in the family has had or does have it, chances are that the child you have will as well. Children of people with MDD may show signs of higher levels of depressive symptoms than children from families without a history of the disorder.
Psychological symptoms may include abnormal perceptions of reality, persistent feeling of boredom, changes in mood and sleep patterns, feelings of guilt, suicidal thoughts, hostility, agitation, paranoia, and irritability. Psychotic features may include hearing and seeing things that aren’t real, experiencing auditory hallucinations, having suicidal thoughts, and making suicidal attempts. Psychotic symptoms may also include seeing or hearing voices in your head and experiencing the inability to concentrate, motor difficulties, nausea, and changes in vision. These symptoms may also occur along with any of the other psychiatric conditions that mimic major depressive disorder.
Certain medications have been found to help treat the symptoms of major depressive disorder and help improve the patient’s mood. These medications can include anti-seizure, antidepressants, anti-depressants, and tranquilizers. It is critical that if you think you are suffering from any of these symptoms that you contact your doctor immediately. If you do not take medications for your condition, you may be at risk for suicide. Contact your local emergency number and let them know that you have a history of suicide attempts in the family and that you are concerned about possible suicide attempts today.
The major depressive disorder has many causes, but recent research has focused on certain genetic factors and changes in the brain that lead to major depressive disorder. Scientists have also identified chemical imbalances in the brain that can cause some people to experience mood disorders. Some evidence suggests that environmental factors such as stressful situations can trigger mood disorders. Some medications may also play a role in the development of mood disorders. While the exact causes of major depressive disorder are still under investigation, there is strong evidence that it can be brought about by genetics and changes in the brain.
Because major depressive disorder can bring about significant changes in a person’s daily life, it is important for anyone who experiences mood changes to seek medical treatment. Depression can be difficult to treat, but it can be treated with medications and therapy. People with this condition need to take the responsibility to seek treatment for themselves if they are to live a happy, productive life. If you or someone you know needs help, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers online educational resources that address the causes of mood disorders including major depressive disorder and other types of depression.