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Depressive Disorders are disorders of mood and can negatively affect one’s ability to function day to day.

Depressive Disorders can alter how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Individuals suffering with depression can lose interest in activities that they found pleasurable in the past, they may feel very sullen or flat, or they may be overwhelmed with negative emotions such as worry or remorse. Depression can also lead to or exacerbate existing somatic symptoms which can often impact that person’s medical treatment in other care settings. Like Bipolar Disorders, Depressive Disorders generally present with well demarcated changes in mood that interrupt previous functioning, which is to be distinguished from more pervasive characterological issues or the psychological effects of substance abuse. 

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder is where there are recurrent and severe (more than three times per week) verbal and behavioral outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation and inconsistent with a person’s developmental level. This diagnosis cannot be given before six or after eighteen years old. 

Major Depressive Disorder includes depressed mood or loss of interest in activities that used to bring pleasure. In addition to feelings like dread or apathy, anger or remorse, many people suffering with depression also experience physical symptoms such as problems with eating, sleeping, mustering energy, and concentrating. Since thoughts of death and suicidal ideation are a key criterion for this diagnosis, it is absolutely critical that people suffering with depression be asked if they have thoughts about killing themselves and if they have a plan or intention to act on suicidal thoughts.  


Persistent Depressive Disorder (formerly Dysthymia) has similar criteria to Major Depressive Disorder, including depressed mood, but the symptoms are present for at least two years. 


Some medical conditions can also cause depressive symptoms, so considering possible underlying medical problems is important. Depression is a very common disorder, as many as one in six people experience depressive symptoms in their lifetime. Depression is differentiated from sadness and grief by the severity and duration of depressive symptoms. It is important for anyone experiencing a Depressive Disorder to seek help from a licensed clinician to be evaluated for safety (APA, 2013).

Dr. Husseini Manji Interview

Husseini Manji, M.D. FRCPC is the Global Therapeutic Head of Neuroscience at Janssen Research and Development, LLC, one of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Manji is also a Visiting Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Manji was previously Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology & Experimental Therapeutics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Director of the NIH Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, the largest program of its kind in the world. Dr. Manji has received a number of prestigious awards, including the National Institute of Mental Health Director's Career Award for Significant Scientific Achievement, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Klerman Senior Distinguished Researcher Award, the PhRMA’s Research & Hope Award for Excellence in Biopharmaceutical Research and has been recognized as one of 14 inaugural “Health Heroes” by Oprah magazine. Dr. Manji has published extensively on the molecular and cellular neurobiology of severe neuropsychiatric disorders and the development of novel therapeutics, with over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and is the author of Bipolar Depression, Molecular Neurobiology, Clinical Diagnosis, and Pharmacotherapy which is currently in its second edition.


Click the links below to find out more about Depressive Disorders.





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