More threads by kelsischanging

I'm 18 and was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder Recurrent (or something like that I cant remember :D) about three years ago. I was thinking about that today, and I realized that I don't even know what this diagonosis means...what does it mean for my future....any answers or helpful websites would be appreciated...thanks
Hi Kels,

Here is the information regarding Major Depressive Disorder.

A person who suffers from a major depressive disorder (sometimes also referred to as clinical depression or major depression) must either have a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities consistently for at least a 2 week period. This mood must represent a change from the person's normal mood. Social, occupational, educational or other important functioning must also be negatively impaired by the change in mood. For instance, a person who has missed work or school because of their depression, or has stopped attending classes altogether or attending usual social engagements.

A depressed mood caused by substances (such as drugs, alcohol, medications) is not considered a major depressive disorder, nor is one which is caused by a general medical condition. Major depressive disorder generally cannot be diagnosed if a person has a history of manic, hypomanic, or mixed episodes (e.g., a bipolar disorder) or if the depressed mood is better accounted for by schizoaffective disorder and is not superimposed on schizophrenia, a delusion or psychotic disorder. Typically the diagnosis of major depression is also not made if the person is grieving over a significant loss in their lives (see note on bereavement below).

Clinical depression is characterized by the presence of the majority of these symptoms:

* Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feeling sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). (In children and adolescents, this may be characterized as an irritable mood.)
* Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
* Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
* Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
* Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
* Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
* Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
* Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
* Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

In addition, for a diagnosis of major depression to be made, the symptoms must not be better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.


hey kels,

here's some links (goggle):

All About Depression: Diagnosis
talks about recurrent depression midway
see middle

I would suggest checking out some of those sites, finding articles/books on the topic and talking to your doctor/therapist to find out more- that's what they're there for. I think, like any most other disorders, they have some kind of implication on your life in terms of the future, but it doesn't mean your life is all written out- there's a lot that is in your control and understanding your disorder and learning what ways help you deal w/ it/ manage it will enable you to have that future that you want. Nothing's ever written in stone, right??? Some people may be more "vulnerable" in terms of being depressed, others have to deal w/ a messed up family, others have a physical disability or maybe are of lower SES- none of those things will predict that person's future 100%. Does your diagnosis have some kind of effect on your future? Of course. Recurrent major depression does differe from different types, so you might want to look more into specifc info in terms of this type.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
kels, the "Recurrent" part of that does not necessarily imply anything for the future - it simply means that the current (or most recent) episode was not your first one. The diagnosis of Major Depressive Episode has one of two qualifiers: either "Single Episode" or "Recurrent" if there have been more than one.

Statistically, having a second major depressive episode increases the likelihood that you will have a third. But that's just statistics, really. It depends on what is causing the depressive episodes and how the previous and current episodes are treated (e.g., did treatment consiste only of medication or were issues related to the depression addressed and resolved in therapy?).
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