Major Depressive Disorder
The most common form is known as major depressive disorder.
Major depressive disorder is characterized by a fairly lengthy period of time (at least two weeks) during which a person feels sad or hopeless or lacks focus in life, on a daily or almost daily basis, for the most part of each day. This condition is associated with many other symptoms which can have repercussions emotionally, socially, professionally and in other significant areas of life.
Fortunately, if properly managed, recovery is possible for patients suffering from major depressive disorder.
There is a type of depression that occurs in association with a loss of daylight, as happens during the winter in Canada. This “seasonal depression” is also referred to as seasonal affective disorder or SAD, and affects between 3% and 5% of Canadian adults. For those that suffer from this form of depression, the symptoms usually come on in the fall and lift with the arrival of spring.
Following the birth of a child, a woman’s hormone levels dip quite profoundly. This may result in the new mother feeling depressed. This is known as a postpartum depressive episode. It is believed that postpartum depression may be linked to rapidly shifting hormones.
Although it is often a painful process, grieving is a normal and necessary response to a loss. Depending on the individual, this period can last weeks, months or even years. A significant loss can trigger genuine depression. However, grief does not normally lead to depression.