Major depressive disorder, also known as major depression, unipolar depression, clinical depression, or simply depression, is a disorder characterized by a low or inconsistent mood, in which one finds dissatisfaction in activities once perceived as satisfying. There is no age specification of onset; however, onset often occurs between adolescence and mid-adulthood. Diagnosis is based on the patient's self-reported experiences and observed behavior. Episodes can be recurrent or circumstantial. Symptoms are usually persistent and last for weeks, months, or even years. Symptoms include:

  • Dissatisfaction with normally satisfying activities
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Irritability
  • Decrease or increase in appetite
  • Severe sadness
  • Problems sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • In extreme cases, suicidal thoughts may occur

At the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Treatment Research Program, we offer ongoing studies using experimental antidepressant medications or talk therapy to treat depression. If you feel you may be experiencing depression and are in need of treatment, call us today at 215-898-4301.

Back to Top