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Major Depressive Disorder

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Mary is a 53-year-old housewife that was referred for psychological evaluation by her general practitioner. Her main complaints were sleeping pattern disruption, loss of appetite and weight and constant tiredness. Her symptoms began after the loss of her husband who died recently from cancer. Her personal history revealed difficult childhood due to family relationships, resulting in the decision of marriage in late adolescence. Her medical examinations revealed no significant pathology that could explain the current symptoms. She had no personal or family history of mental illness. She was assessed for depression with the use of QIDS-C16 questionnaire and the DSM-IV criteria and was found to suffer from moderate depression.

Appropriate treatment with anti-depressants and psychotherapy meetings was initiated. A discussion of her current living situation and conditions that can affect her course and recovery is provided. Major Depressive Disorder is a multi-factorial entity, with great impact on personal, family and social life. It can be a debilitating disease that deprives the individual of the energy and even the desire to continue living. Many socioeconomic parameters influence the occurrence and also the prognosis of the patients: age at first presentation, gender, marital status, quality of marriage and family relationships, social support, socioeconomic status, personality traits and disorders, life events and bereavement.

Attention to the individuality of each patient is essential in the course of assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. There are several up-to-date assessment methods that can assist in making the correct diagnosis. The appropriate treatment can be selected afterward, by respecting the patient’ s personal preference, whenever possible. Hopefully, in the future, the input of various clinical trials on various intervention modalities will allow for more effective ways of preventing and treating depression, the result is the reduction of incidence and morbidity of the disorder.

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