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Major Depression: Symptoms, Prevalence and Genetic Factors

 

Major Depression Symptoms: 

major depression A major depression diagnosis is made after considering a variety of symptoms.  Five or more of the following symptoms must persist for a period of at least two weeks to be diagnosed as having Major Depression: depressed mood; suicidal aviation; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; loss of interest in pleasure in normal activities; sleep disturbance; decrease or increase in weight; psychomotor retardation or education; tiredness or loss of energy; and inability to concentrate or a feeling of being indecisive. 

Major Depression:

Prevalence and Course Lifetime prevalence rate of major depression is estimated at between 10% and 25% for women and between 5% and 12% for men. The greatest risk for major depression occurs between the ages of 1844 years of age, with a less risk being for those agents 65 and over. Age cohorts born after World War II are greater risk for major depression as well as other disorders, including substance abuse. 

Another important factor when considering major depression is related to the risk of an individual harming themselves. Women have a much higher rate of attempting to kill themselves, but men have a much higher rate of completing the act due to the more lethal means which they use (guns and hanging as compared medication overdose or wrist cutting).  The highest risk associated for people actually killing themselves is among the separated, divorced and recently widowed, with lowest risk being for single and married individuals.  Living alone or living in an urban environment also conveys a greater risk than cohabiting or living in a rural area.  Also, individuals with families showing a history of family member's harming themselves or a history of alcoholism and major depression, or those who perceive that they do not have a good social network are at greater risk. 

Major Depression: Genetic and Biological Factors  

Although heritability rates are greater for bipolar disorders than for individuals with unipolar major depression, there is some evidence that there may be some biological inheritance or predisposition. The concordance rate (heritability rate) for monozygotic twins for major depression is about 50%, whereas the concordance rate for dizygotic twins is about 35%. Various studies estimate the overall heritability rate for major depression and about 39%, indicating some biological predisposition, but also reflecting the likelihood that other social and environmental factors (such as life events, developmental history and coping skills) are probably even more prominent.  Studies of adopted twins with depression have found the rates for major depression in biological and adoptive parents to reflect only a small effect of heredity. 

Information provided by Leahy and Hollandís Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders

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By Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D Candidate 

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Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: Alphabetical Order and Antidepressant Info.

Luvox

Paxil

Pristiq

Prozac

Remeron  

Wellbutrin 

Zoloft 


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