Major Depressive Episode

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.

More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.


Cluster Number:
Wiki Number: PW116
Diagnosis: Major Depressive Episode
US Patients: If untreated can last for several months to two years. Symptoms may improve within 6-8 weeks with treatment.
World Patients:
Sex Ratio: M+;F
Age Onset: Ages 20-45
Brain Area:
Symptoms: Symptoms for two weeks of major depressive disorder: loss of interest or pleasure, anxiety, insomnia
Progression: saddened mood, poor sleep, loss of energy, concentration or appetite, thoughts of death or suicide
Causes: Neurotransmitters out of balance, feeling worthless and dispairing; heredity or familial causes
Medications: antidepressants which take 4-6 weeks until maximum effect;
Therapies: psychotherapy


The world-wide medical research
reports chosen for each diagnosis 

Clicking each title opens the
PubMed article’s summary-abstract.

  • Pregabalin augmentation of antidepressants in major depression - results from a European multicenter study
    by Markus Dold on October 15, 2021

    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that add-on pregabalin is particularly administered in more severe/difficult-to-treat MDD conditions, whereas no association between the prescription of adjunctive pregabalin and comorbid anxiety symptoms could be determined.

  • Housing Instability and Depression among US Mothers Following a Nonmarital Birth
    by Sehun Oh on October 13, 2021

    Mothers who had a nonmarital birth experience multiple risk factors for depression, including housing instability. Yet, important questions remain about the extent of long-term housing instability and its association with future depression among at-risk mothers. Using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study data, we examine cumulative housing instability over a 15-year period following nonmarital birth and its association with maternal depression. Based on a sample of 2279 mothers who had...

  • Symptoms and Characteristics of Youth Hospitalized for Depression: Subthreshold Manic Symptoms Can Help Differentiate Bipolar from Unipolar Depression
    by Anna Van Meter on October 12, 2021

    Background: Most people who have major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder (BD) will have their first episode of depression in adolescence. However, in the absence of significant [hypo]manic symptoms, there are no clear guidelines for distinguishing bipolar from unipolar depression, which can lead to misdiagnosis and ineffective/harmful treatment. We aimed to compare phenomenological differences among youth with MDD or BD hospitalized for an acute episode of depression. Methods: A...

  • Robin's Wish and the Complex Causal Web of Death by Suicide
    by Thomas E Joiner on October 11, 2021

    The documentary film Robin's Wish aims to reclaim the media scrutiny around Robin Williams' death, fixating on causation being solely attributed to a postmortem diagnosis of which Williams was unaware-Lewy Body Dementia. The film and other sources as well defined and animated the view that Williams' death by suicide was fully a result of this medical condition, dismissing any possible role for mental disorders. The need to distance from mental disorders can have a palpable undercurrent of...