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DSM-5 criteria for depression

Depression Definition and DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria

Otherwise referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, depression is a common and high mood disorder. People who have depression experience persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Apart from the emotional problems caused by depression, people can also be presented with several physical symptoms like chronic pain or digestive issues. To be diagnosed with depression, people must have exhibited the symptoms for a minimum of a fortnight.

Depression DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria

The DSM-5 criteria for depression outline the following criterion to form a diagnosis of depression symptoms. The individual must be experiencing at least five or more symptoms during an equivalent 2-week period, and a minimum of one among the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

  • Depressed mood most of the day, for nearly a day.

  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure altogether, or most, activities most of the day, nearly a day.

  • Significant weight gain or weight loss when not dieting,

  • Increase or decrease in appetite for nearly a day.

  • A slowing down of thought and a discount of physical activities, Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt for nearly a day.

  • Diminished ability to concentrate, think, or indecisiveness, for nearly a day.

  • Recurrent suicidal ideation and thoughts of death without a selected plan, or a suicide attempt or a selected plan for committing suicide.

  • The depression symptoms must also not be a result of drug abuse or another medical condition.

Associated Features

Major clinical depression is related to high mortality, much of which is accounted for by suicide. As a result, if you think that someone you care about could also be affected by depression, it’s essential to understand the warning signs of suicide and to require suicidal statements exceptionally seriously. A statement by an individual with suicidal ideation could sound something like, “I’m getting to kill myself,” but other passive statements like, “I wish I could just attend sleep and never awaken,” are equally worrying. If people with depression exhibit these verbal markers, encourage them to consult a mental health professional immediately.

New Specifiers for DSM-5 Depression

  • With Mixed Features – This specifier allows for the existence of manic symptoms as a part of Depression diagnosis in patients who don’t meet the complete criteria for a manic episode.

  • With Anxious Distress – The presence of hysteria in patients may affect prognosis, treatment options, and, therefore, the patient’s response. Clinicians will get to assess whether or not the individual experiencing depression also presents with anxious distress.

  • What is the difference between sadness and depression? As long as the first symptom related to depression is sadness, it is often hard to understand the way to make a distinction between the two psychological states.

  • How is Depression Different from Sadness?

  • But depression is quite just sadness, and not only by a measure of degree. The difference doesn’t dwell the extent to which an individual feels down but rather during a combination of things concerning the duration of those negative feelings, other symptoms, bodily impact, and, therefore, the impact upon the individual’s ability to function in lifestyle.

  • Sadness may be a normal emotion that everybody will experience at some point in his or her life. Be it the loss of employment, the top of a relationship or the death of a beloved, sadness is typically caused by a selected situation, person, or event. When it involves depression, however, no such trigger is required. An individual affected by depression feels sad or hopeless about everything. This person may have every reason within the world to be happy, and yet they lose the power to experience joy or pleasure.

  • With sadness, you might feel down within the dumps for each day or two, but you’re still ready to enjoy simple things like your favorite television program, food, or time with friends. It isn’t the case when someone is handling depression. Even activities that they once enjoyed are not any longer interesting or pleasurable.

  • What’s more, once you experience sadness triggered by a particular something, you’re still ready to sleep as you always would, remain motivated to try to do things, and maintain your desire to eat. Depression, on the other hand, is related to severe disruption of normal eating and sleeping patterns and is also about not being eager to get out of bed all day.

  • In sadness, you would possibly feel remorse or regret for something they said or did, but they won’t experience any permanent sense of worthlessness or guilt as you would perhaps with depression. One of the diagnostic features of depression is that this manifests quite negative and self-diminishing, thought, and behavior patterns.

  • Lastly, self-harm and suicidal inclinations don’t arise from non-depressive sadness. Those battling severe depression may have thoughts of self-harm, death, or suicide, or have a suicide plan.

Depression and Loss

Although there’s a transparent distinction that can be made between depression and sadness, major clinical depression can occur additionally to sadness resulting from a big loss, like grief, bankruptcy, or significant medical illness. The choice of whether a diagnosis of depression should be made will depend upon the judgment of the clinician treating the individual.


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