Human hand helps a sad lonely woman to get rid of depression. A young unhappy girl sits and hugs her knees. The concept of support and care for people under stress. Vector illustration in flat style

A Guide to Major Depressive Disorder: Diagnosis and Management

Major depressive disorder is one of the most common and severe mental health conditions. It’s a mood disorder that can drastically affect your day-to-day life, leaving you incapable of leading a normal life.

However, the sad part of the story is that many people still fail to differentiate between stress and depression. They think of depression as everyday life stress, which not only aggravates the disorder but also hampers the treatment. In this article today, we’re going to talk about major depressive disorder in detail. Let’s have a look:

Diagnostic Criteria of Major Depressive Disorder

As mentioned earlier, there’s a fine line between stress and depression. Major depressive disorder is a serious mental health ailment while stress is one of its symptoms. There are many others, including:

  • Loss of interest in daily life activities
  • Persistent sadness and hopelessness
  • Unexplainable body aches and digestive issues
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Binge eating or loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and decreased concentration
  • Visions of death or suicidal thoughts

According to the DSM-5, the minimum time limit for diagnosing depression is two weeks. If five or more symptoms from the list mentioned above are present for at least two weeks, it indicates the presence of major depressive disorder.

Management of Major Depressive Disorder 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), more than 21 million adults in the US have depression, and sadly, only 40% of them receive treatment. It is because some of them don’t take it seriously enough to seek treatment while others avoid allopathic medicines.

Fortunately, there are many natural ways to combat the symptoms of major depressive disorder. They are as follows:

  • Herbal Medicines 

Many herbs and plants are now added to dietary supplements because of their health benefits. Yes, they’re loaded with natural properties. They not only promote your physical health but mental well-being, too. A few examples of such herbs and plants are valerian root, passionflower, chamomile, ashwagandha, and cannabis. I’m sure you’re surprised to see cannabis on the list.

Well, cannabis is now legal in various American and Canadian states and it works incredibly well to tame the symptoms of depression. I recently bought 28 grams of Calgary to keep stress and anxiety away, and guess what? It’s amazing at what it does.

  • Lifestyle Rehabilitation 

Lifestyle rehabilitation is mandatory for the treatment of major depressive disorder. While you may not realize it, an unhealthy lifestyle can aggravate the symptoms of depression. Thus, you must make a few necessary changes to your lifestyle.

It includes exercise, meditation, quitting nicotine and alcohol, and practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques. Nicotine and alcohol contribute to your stress levels; hence, they’re highly discouraged. Exercise, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation techniques are very useful to keep stress away, increase energy, and boost mood.

Apart from that, you can also seek psychotherapy. It’s another non-invasive treatment option for depression. It doesn’t include any allopathic medicines; thus, there’d be no side effects. I hope it helps, my friends!



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