Depressive illnesses have affected humanity since recorded history. They are characterized by sadness or stress that is severe enough to cause the victim to withdraw from pleasurable everyday activities. Depression has come to, in clinical and psychological terms, any of the various depressive illnesses or disorders which can further, based on their specific symptoms, be classified as: • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) • Dysthymia • Unspecified, substance-induced or condition-induced depressive disorders (Lurie 2007)
This research paper aims to make a case study of the Major Depressive Disorder, in other words referred to as major depression, by discussing it theoretically, its diagnosis, preferred treatment and outcomes of this treatment. Theory of Major Depressive Disorder Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of the commonest mental health problems. It is chronic and recurrent; and since its containment is a serious challenge, it is a leading cause of functional impairment in the society. MDD differs from reactive depressive illnesses in that it is a proactive depression (Lurie 2007): its real cause in a patient cannot be traced to a specific event.
The patient may have a pre-disposition genetically or biologically. More often than not, no specific cause is established, driving patients into denial of the condition. Even though the actual cause of MDD has not been established, research shows that it has a strong genetic influence. Other external factors just contribute to its acquisition or deterioration; and include emotionally traumatic encounters, physical and emotional stressors like abuse, growing up in dysfunctional families and societies, ravage by natural disasters and poverty, or even the loss of a loved one.