Are you depressed? Criteria for a major depressive episode

Depression defined: Are you depressed?

Depression is defined. Are you depressed? Criteria for a major depressive episode.

A person must exhibit either of the following almost daily for at least a two week period.

1. A persistent sad or depressed mood.

2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in usually pleasurable activities.

3. Plus at least any four of the following:

    • significant weight loss or, atypically, weight gain
    • insomnia, hypersomnia, or early morning awakening
    • psychomotor agitation or retardation
    • decreased energy or fatigue
    • feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
    • difficulty thinking, concentrating, remembering or making decisions
    • recurrent thoughts of death, suicide, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for suicide


Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D.C., 1994

If this describes you, please seek professional help!

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