Video:Major depressive disorder
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People may also occasionally have false beliefs, or see or hear things that others cannot. Some people may have periods of depression, separated by years in which they are normal, while others nearly always feel its effects.
One theory, is the diathesis–stress model. It theorizes, that depression occurs when someone has a preexisting vulnerability (such as an inherited link to depression) that is activated by stressful life events.
About 40% of the risk appears to be related to genetics.
There is no laboratory test for major depression. Testing however, may be done to rule out physical conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Major depression is more severe, and lasts longer than sadness, which is a normal part of life.
Some have recommended screening for depression, in people over 12 years old,, but a Cochrane review found that the routine use of screening questionnaires, has little effect on detection or treatment.
Depression is treatable, as long as it's recognized. The three most common treatments for depression, are psychotherapy, medication, and electroconvulsive therapy, in combination with lifestyle changes. Psychotherapy is the treatment of choice for people under 18.
Exercise and counselling
Recommendations are that antidepressants, in combination with psychosocial counselling, should be reserved for the following situations;
people with a history of moderate, or severe depression,
those with mild depression that has been present for a long period,
as a second line treatment for mild depression that persists after other interventions,
or as a first line treatment for moderate or severe depression.
ECT and hospitalization
If other measures are not effective, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered. Hospitalization may also be necessary, especially when a person is at risk of hurting themselves, even if it is against their wishes.
Age and gender
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