Major Depressive Disorder and Pain Symptoms
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depressive disorder or major depression yields a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.
Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder
According to the Mayo Clinic, depression may yield any of the following symptoms:
- Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
- Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Reduced sex drive
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Agitation or restlessness
- Irritability or angry outbursts
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
- Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Any combination of these symptoms hinders how a person thinks, feels and behaves.
Causes of Major Depressive Disorder
It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of major depressive disorder, but the following factors may influence this problem:
- Faulty neurotransmitters, dysfunction in the natural brain chemicals linked to mood
- Imbalanced hormones, often associated with thyroid problems or menopause
- Inherited traits. While the specific gene has not yet been identified, major depressive disorder is more common in people whose biological family members also have this condition.
- Traumatic life events, such as the death of a loved one, financial problems and high stress
People with more than one of these factors have increased risks for major depressive disorder.
Risks Associated with Major Depressive Disorder
The Mayo Clinic identifies that untreated major depressive disorder can have the following ramifications:
- Alcohol abuse
- Substance abuse
- Work or school problems
- Family conflicts
- Relationship difficulties
- Social isolation
- Self-mutilation, such as cutting
- Premature death from other medical conditions
In almost a cyclical pattern, these risks can exacerbate major depressive disorders.
Diagnosing Major Depressive Disorder
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the manual published and updated by the American Psychiatric Association, people must exude the following characteristics to receive a medical diagnosis:
- Simultaneous mania and depression that can occur in bipolar disorder
- Symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others
- Symptoms do not result from some other problems, such as drug abuse, taking a medication or having a medical condition such as hypothyroidism
- Symptoms do not stem from grief, such as temporary sadness after the loss of a loved one
A diagnosis is based on a psychological evaluation that assesses a person’s behavior, history and overall appearance. If a patient has had intense symptoms for quite a long time, then a medical professional is more likely to give a diagnosis.
Help for Major Depressive Disorder and Pain Symptoms
Our counselors are available 24 hours a day at a toll-free helpline to answer any questions you might have about major depressive disorder and pain conditions. Seek professional help to overcome your problems.