How Do I Know if I Have Major Depressive Disorder?

How Do I Know if I Have Major Depressive Disorder?

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious mental health disorder that causes people to feel intense sadness and lose interest in their daily lives. MDD affects energy levels, sleep habits, and appetite. The ability to enjoy your hobbies or other activities that you formerly participated in can be affected as well. MDD can significantly affect your ability to go about your daily life.

According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 21 million adults have experienced at least one depressive episode in 2020. Depressive episodes have become more common since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Many factors are thought to contribute to MDD. However, the exact cause of the disorder is unknown. A family history of depression may contribute. Experiencing loss or trauma in your life can also lead to depression. People diagnosed with a medical illness are also at a higher risk of developing MDD.   

What Makes MDD Different Than Being Sad?

Throughout your life, you will have experiences that cause sadness. You will also feel stress which can cause you to have negative emotions. That is a normal part of being human that everyone will experience. The key difference between sadness and MDD is that you also feel confident in your ability to cope with your feelings in those situations.

MDD can be distinguished by the intensity of the feelings you are having. You may not be able to control your negative thoughts. Your usual ways of coping will not seem to be working as well as they normally do. 

To help you distinguish between normal sadness and MDD, you might also look closely at how your feelings affect your ability to function in your daily life. If you notice that your depression is overwhelming you or has negatively impacted your life for two weeks or longer, you may be experiencing a more serious form of depression, such as MDD.

Should I Keep Track of My Symptoms?

It can be beneficial to keep track of how you are feeling on a daily basis. When you track your feelings and their effects on your life, you can learn several things. 

For example, you may notice patterns in your moods that you didn’t see before. Situations that trigger negative emotions might become apparent. Tracking your emotional state may also help you determine how your sadness and other symptoms impact your life. 

There are several ways that you can track your symptoms. One easy way to do this is to keep a journal. Having a written record of your feelings can be very useful, especially if you decide to seek help from a mental health professional.

What Treatments Are Available for MDD?

Luckily, MDD is manageable with the proper diagnosis and treatment. There are a variety of different treatment options and lifestyle changes available to you that will help you navigate MDD.

Medication and Therapy

Medication and therapy, or a combination of both, are the most common treatments used to treat MDD. A variety of antidepressant medications are available for use in treating MDD. Working with your doctor to find the right one for you will be essential. 

Some form of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, with a mental health professional can also be very beneficial. A therapist can help you discover more about yourself. They can also help you develop the skills you will need to cope with the symptoms of MDD. 

Lifestyle Changes

Some lifestyle changes may help you feel better, alongside professional treatment. You can make sure that you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Educating the people close to you about what you are dealing with will also help you gain the support you need to cope with any challenges.

Consider Seeking Professional Support

You should work with a mental health professional to decide what treatment plan is best for your MDD. Together you can set manageable goals to take steps towards healing. It is always best to stick to the treatment plan developed for you by the professionals you are consulting with.

Where Can I Find Help if My Depression Is Overwhelming Me?

If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed trying to manage your depression, there is help available to you. At Alter Wellness Care, we provide outpatient mental health treatment. Our unique team of professionals is committed to helping you heal from MDD. 

At Alter Wellness Care, we have specialists ready to provide personalized care. We want to provide you with the best care possible so that you feel comfortable and confident during every step of your treatment process.

If you struggle with depression, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn for help. At Alter Wellness Care, we want you to know that support is available for you. We understand that asking for help takes courage and strength. Our team of professionals is committed to providing compassionate care to our clients at every step in the process. We want to help you feel comfortable and safe turning to us for support. At Alter Wellness Care, we pride ourselves on offering a variety of evidence-based treatments that will help you find healing. We have specialists that stay up-to-date on the latest research and treatments. We provide an effective combination of therapy, medication, and education. The skills that you need to accomplish your goals are within your grasp. Call Alter Wellness Care at (866) 311-3510, and together we can help you start your treatment journey.

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