Like most depressive illnesses, the symptoms of MDD include sadness, nonchalance, increased irritability, fatigue and insomnia, a feeling of guilt and worthless and anxiety. However, MDD can be sub-categorized symptomatically as follows: • Psychotic MDD, symptomatically characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and extreme feeling of guilt. • Catatonic, whose symptoms include extreme psychomotor retardation, withdrawal, echolalia and echopraxia. • Melancholic, characterized by noticeable withdrawal, irritability, emotionless expressions and anorexia. •
Patients in this category become sensitive to rejection, overreact to criticism but brighten up immediately in response to positive stimuli and events. (Lurie 2007) In many cases the symptoms overlap in a single case, but the bottom like is that MDD is episodic, it comes and goes. Preferred Treatment Treating MDD poses a serious challenge. In most cases, treatment will involve combining medication and psychotherapy. Medications help a patient cope with the symptoms of depression which may be insomnia, fatigue and hallucinations and comes either as antidepressants or anti-psychotics.
Psychotherapy is a vital entity in the treatment of MDD as it helps the patient come into terms with his or her affliction (Lurie 2007). It also imparts new skills which empowers the patients to cope with the symptoms of the depressive illnesses especially hallucinations, delusions and insomnia. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is widely use in the containment of MDD, but in acute cases, advanced procedures have been developed which include Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation among others.
Even though therapeutic and medicinal interventions do not sufficiently benefit about 20 to 40 percent of all patients diagnosed with MDD (O’Reardon et.al. , 2007), effective delivery of the same can make patients enjoy normal lives. Outcomes of Treatment As mentioned above, about 25 percent of all MDD patients subjected to therapeutic and interventions do not sufficiently benefit from such. However, with efficient delivery of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and drug therapy to contain the symptoms of the illness, a patient can enjoy a normal life. In acute cases, advanced clinical interventions are recommended. In one research, O’Reardon et. al. showed that Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation is an effective procedure in the treatment of major depression clinically (O’Reardon et. al. , 2007).
Conclusion Major Depressive Disorder is a chronic, recurrent mental health problem affecting the society today. Its cause is not exactly known, but research indicates that it is genetically influenced. There are various symptomatic classifications of the disorder, but the general symptoms include social withdrawal, hallucinations, insomnia and delusions. A combination of behavioral and medical therapy is used to contain MDD, but advanced procedures are employed clinically as interventions in acute cases. If well managed, MDD patients can still live normal lives.
References Lurie, M. (2007) Depression: Your Questions Answered. London: Dorling Kindersley O’Reardon, J. P, Solvason, H. B, Janicak, P. G. , Sampson, S. , Isenberg, K. E. , Nahas, Z. , McDonald, W. M. , Avery, D. , Fitzgerald, P. B. , Loo, C. , Demitrack, M. A. , George, M. S. & Sackeim, H. A. (2007). “Efficacy and Safety of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the Acute Treatment of Major Depression: A Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial” Available at http://www. butler. org/documents/OReardon_TMS_BiologicalPsych. pdf [August 16, 2010]