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Medical Term:

major depression


Definition: a mental disorder characterized by sustained depression of mood, anhedonia, sleep and appetite disturbances, and feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness. Diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode (DSM-IV) include a depressed mood, a marked reduction of interest or pleasure in virtually all activities, or both, lasting for at least 2 weeks. In addition, 3 or more of the following must be present: gain or loss of weight, increased or decreased sleep, increased or decreased level of psychomotor activity, fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, diminished ability to concentrate, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

See: endogenous depression, exogenous depression, bipolar disorder

Synonym(s): clinical depression, major depressive disorder1

© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.