fbpx Skip to content

Ending the Stigma: Let’s Talk About Major Depressive Disorders

Depression, particularly major depressive disorder, is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. It’s a severe mental health condition requiring understanding, treatment, and much support. For those who struggle with this disorder or know someone who does, understanding the nature of the condition can be a part of the recovery journey. Let’s talk about Major Depressive Disorders…

What is Major Depressive Disorder?

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. The symptoms must be present for at least two weeks to be diagnosed with this disorder. This mental health condition is debilitating and can often lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Furthermore, it can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and home.

The Importance of Understanding Major Depressive Disorder

Understanding Major Depressive Disorder is crucial not only for people who are suffering from it but also for their families, friends, and society at large. It helps in early identification, appropriate treatment, and better management of the disorder. Furthermore, comprehension of this disorder can aid in eradicating the stigma associated with mental health conditions, encouraging more people to seek help.

Prevalence and Impact on Individuals and Society

Major Depressive Disorder is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 7% of adults in the United States have had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This equates to about 17.3 million people.

The impact of MDD extends beyond the individual level, affecting society as a whole. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide. It can lead to decreased productivity at work, strained relationships, and even suicide in severe cases. Hence, the societal cost of depression is monumental, making it a significant public health issue.

Understanding Major Depressive Disorder is not merely an academic exercise but a necessity in our collective efforts to promote mental health and well-being. As we delve further into the specifics of this disorder in subsequent sections, remember that knowledge is power. The more we understand this condition, the better equipped we are to combat it, support those affected, and ultimately, reduce its impact on our society.

Defining Major Depressive Disorders

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), often just referred to as depression, is a severe mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. The distinguishing feature of MDD is that these feelings are severe enough to interfere with daily life, persisting for at least two weeks or longer. It’s not just a case of ‘the blues’ or the normal grief after losing a loved one, but a complex disorder that can affect anyone at any age.

The term “recurrent” in the context of MDD refers to having more than one depressive episode. An individual may experience their first episode of major depression and then have it recur several times throughout their life. These recurrent episodes can be triggered by specific life events or without an apparent cause. Importantly, even if an individual has had only one major depressive episode, they are still considered to have MDD because the disorder is defined by the presence and severity of the symptoms, not their frequency.

Speaking of severity, when we say a case of MDD is “moderate”, it’s a way to describe the intensity of the symptoms. Major depressive episodes can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe. A moderate episode sits between mild and severe, indicating a level of symptoms that significantly impede daily functioning but may not be as incapacitating as an intense episode. However, it’s crucial to understand that ‘moderate’ doesn’t mean ‘less important.’ Even a moderate episode of MDD requires attention and treatment.

In essence, defining Major Depressive Disorder involves identifying persistent, pervasive feelings of sadness and despair that disrupt daily life. Terms like “recurrent” and “moderate” help healthcare providers assess the frequency and severity of these symptoms, guiding appropriate treatment choices. Remember, understanding these definitions is the first step towards recognizing and addressing this prevalent mental health issue.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorders

The first step towards understanding any condition, particularly one as complex as major depressive disorder (MDD), is to become familiar with its symptoms. These are the signs that something may not be right, and they can be crucial in leading someone to seek help. However, it’s important to note that symptoms of MDD can vary greatly from person to person, both in terms of what symptoms are present and how severe they are.

 Common Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorders

A person experiencing MDD often faces a constellation of symptoms that persist for at least two weeks. These symptoms of major depressive disorder typically include feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness that don’t go away. Other common symptoms include loss of interest or pleasure in activities the individual once enjoyed, depressive episodes in appetite or weight, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, and fatigue or loss of energy.

Symptoms can also be cognitive or psychological, such as difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions. Some people with MDD may also experience recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. It’s important to remember that these symptoms are not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. They’re a part of the illness and can be treated effectively.

Variations in Symptoms and Their Impact on Daily Life

While there are several commonly associated symptoms, the manifestation of MDD can differ significantly among individuals.

  • For some, depression might manifest through physical symptoms like persistent headaches, stomach issues, or chronic pain.
  • Others might experience more emotional symptoms like excessive guilt, feelings of worthlessness, or constant anxiety.

The impact of these symptoms on daily life can be substantial. They can reduce productivity, strain relationships, and make it difficult to perform routine tasks. Moreover, the effects can spiral, where the symptoms lead to negative life experiences, which in turn exacerbate the symptoms.

Recognizing these symptoms is crucial, and not just for diagnosis. Understanding the specific ways in which MDD affects an individual can inform the most effective treatment strategies. This makes it possible to reduce the severity of symptoms, improve quality of life, and better manage this condition.

It’s important to remember that if you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have MDD. These symptoms could be linked to other conditions, or even to stressful circumstances in your life. However, if these symptoms persist, it is essential to consult with a mental health professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and guide you towards appropriate treatment options.

Understanding the ICD-10 Classification for Major Depressive Disorders

Before we delve into the specifics of how major depressive disorders are classified, it’s imperative to understand the diagnostic tool used, namely the ICD-10. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), is a system developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that is globally recognized for coding and categorizing diseases, including mental health disorders.

The ICD-10 plays a crucial role in diagnosing mental health conditions such as major depressive disorders. Not only does it provide a standardized language for healthcare professionals worldwide to communicate about health, but it also helps in researching and understanding these conditions more comprehensively. It brings consistency to the process of diagnosing and treating medical conditions, ensuring that the same standards are applied worldwide.

Classifying Major Depressive Disorders According to the ICD-10

Within ICD-10, major depressive disorders are classified under the category of mood (affective) disorders, specifically coded as F32 for single episodes and F33 for recurrent episodes. However, it’s essential to note that these classifications don’t merely categorize; they also provide insight into the severity and specifics of the disorder.

Each classification under F32 and F33 is marked with a decimal followed by a digit to indicate the severity of the episode. For instance, ‘F32.0’ represents a mild depressive episode, while ‘F32.2’ stands for a severe depressive episode without psychotic symptoms. The ‘F33’ category follows a similar pattern for recurrent depressive disorder.

This systematic approach to classifying major depressive disorders allows for a more precise diagnosis, leading to targeted and effective treatment plans. By considering factors such as the number of episodes, their severity, and the presence or absence of psychotic symptoms, the ICD-10 enables healthcare professionals to tailor treatments to individual patient needs.

In essence, the ICD-10’s role extends far beyond mere categorization. It helps in understanding the depth and complexity of major depressive disorders, contributing significantly to efforts aimed at managing and eventually overcoming this challenging condition.

Treatment Options for Major Depressive Disorders

One of the most crucial aspects of managing major depressive disorders is understanding the range of treatment options available. Just as symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, so too can the most effective treatment strategies. The goal should always be to lessen the severity of symptoms, improve quality of life, and foster recovery.


Medication is a common treatment method for major depressive disorders, with antidepressants often being the go-to choice. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac or Zoloft, and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications work by altering the balance of certain chemicals in your brain related to mood. It’s important to note that medication effectiveness varies, and it may take some trial and error to find the right one. Additionally, all medications come with potential side effects that should be discussed with a healthcare professional.


Psychotherapy, more commonly known as “talk therapy,” is another well-established treatment for major depressive disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps individuals identify and correct negative thought patterns that lead to feelings of depression.

Meanwhile, interpersonal therapy (IPT) focuses on improving personal relationships that may contribute to depressive symptoms. Group therapy sessions can also be beneficial, providing a supportive environment to share experiences and coping strategies.

Lifestyle Changes

While medication and therapy are often front-line treatments, lifestyle changes can play a key role in managing major depressive disorders. Regular physical exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and reduced alcohol intake can all contribute to better mental health. Furthermore, mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help manage stress and foster a positive outlook.

The Importance of Personalized Treatment Plans

Given the complex nature of major depressive disorders, personalized treatment plans are key. Each individual’s experience with depression is unique, hence a “one-size-fits-all” approach rarely works. A personalized plan takes into account factors like the severity and type of symptoms, personal health history, the presence of any other mental or physical health conditions, and individual preferences and lifestyle. It’s an ongoing process that requires regular check-ins with healthcare providers to assess progress and make necessary adjustments.

The journey toward managing and overcoming a major depressive disorder can be challenging, but remember, a wide range of treatment options are available. Collaborating with healthcare professionals to create a personalized treatment plan for depression that suits your needs can make all the difference. Living with major depressive disorders is not about merely “getting by”, but thriving and leading a fulfilling life.

The Spravato Treatment

The medication esketamine, used in conjunction with an oral antidepressant to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults, goes by the brand name Spravato. Specifically, it’s intended for adults who have tried other medications without success, a condition known as treatment-resistant depression.

Spravato is a nasal spray administered under medical supervision due to its potential for serious side effects and misuse. It operates by targeting glutamate, a different neurotransmitter than most traditional antidepressants, offering a new approach to treating depression. As of our knowledge cutoff in September 2021, healthcare providers considered Spravato Treatment a promising but relatively new treatment option, and patients should have consulted their healthcare provider for the most current information.

 What is Spravato nasal spray?

The FDA has approved Spravato nasal spray, also known as esketamine nasal spray, as a breakthrough treatment for depression. Many consider it the biggest advance in mental health in the past 50 years.

Spravato Treatment works by targeting the NMDA receptors in the brain, which are believed to play a role in depression. By modulating these receptors, Spravato helps restore balance to the brain’s neurotransmitters, leading to improvements in mood and overall well-being. It can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with an oral antidepressant.

One of the key advantages of Spravato is its fast-acting nature. Unlike traditional antidepressants that may take weeks or even months to show results, studies have demonstrated that Spravato rapidly relieves treatment-resistant depression in individuals.

However, it is important to note that Spravato does come with certain warnings and precautions. The treatment can potentially cause sedation and dissociation, and healthcare professionals should closely monitor patients after administration. Furthermore, patients can potentially abuse and misuse Spravato, so healthcare professionals should only use it under supervision. Finally, it is crucial to be aware of any changes in mood or behavior, as Spravato can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

What is Spravato’s dosage for Depression Treatment?

A healthcare professional determines the dosage of Spravato based on the patient’s medical condition, response to treatment, and other factors. A healthcare provider typically administers the medication as a nasal spray in a certified healthcare setting, while supervising the process. Initially, they usually give it twice a week for the first month, then once a week for the second month. Depending on the patient’s response, they can eventually reduce the frequency to once every two weeks or continue weekly. It’s important to note that Spravato should always be used in conjunction with an oral antidepressant. As with any medication, it’s crucial to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions carefully to ensure the most effective treatment.

Form and strength

Spravato (esketamine) is available as a nasal spray in two strengths: 28 mg and 56 mg. The specific strength and dosage used for treatment depends on several factors, including the patient’s medical condition, response to treatment, and other individual considerations. A healthcare professional should determine this. It’s important to note that you should always use Spravato under the supervision of a healthcare provider due to its potential side effects and risk of misuse or abuse.

Recommended dosages

A healthcare professional determines the recommended dosage of Spravato (esketamine) nasal spray based on the patient’s medical condition, response to treatment, and other factors. A healthcare provider typically administers the medication as a nasal spray in a certified healthcare setting under supervision.

Initially, the doctor usually prescribes it twice a week for the first month. In the second month, they reduce the frequency to once a week. Depending on the patient’s response, they may further reduce it to once every two weeks or continue with a weekly schedule from the third month onwards.

As with any medication, it’s crucial to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions carefully to ensure the most effective treatment. Please consult with a healthcare provider for more personalized information.

Dosage for Major Depressive Disorder with Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors

In cases of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with suicidal thoughts or behaviors, healthcare professionals may consider using Spravato as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. It’s crucial to note that healthcare professionals should always determine the dosage, considering the patient’s medical history, severity of symptoms, and response to previous treatments. Typically, healthcare providers administer Spravato under direct supervision in a certified healthcare setting.

The initial dosage often involves administration twice a week for the first month. Based on the patient’s response, we can adjust this frequency to once a week for the second month, and potentially reduce it further to once every two weeks from the third month onwards. It’s important to remember that we should always use Spravato in conjunction with an oral antidepressant as part of a broader treatment approach, which may include psychotherapy and lifestyle changes. As with any medication, close monitoring of the patient’s progress and any potential side effects is essential.

At Relevance Recovery, we offer personalized Spravato Treatment for individuals with depressive disorders, to ensure their cure.

Conclusion and Next Steps

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve delved into the depths of Major Depressive Disorders (MDD), understanding its definition, recognizing its symptoms, Spravato Treatment and exploring its ICD-10 classification. We’ve also discussed potential treatment options and shared insights on living with MDD. However, the journey to understanding and managing MDD doesn’t end here.

Finally, we emphasized the possibility of leading fulfilling lives despite having MDD. The right treatment, support system, and self-care strategies can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. It’s important to remember that having MDD does not define you or limit your potential for happiness and success.

Seeking Professional Help

While this guide provides a wealth of information, it’s essential to remember that it’s not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of MDD, reach out to a mental health professional. They can provide a proper diagnosis and create an effective, personalized treatment plan.

Reaching out might seem daunting, but it’s a vital step towards recovery. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but a display of strength and self-awareness. You are not alone in this journey, and there are numerous resources available like Relevance Recovery to help you navigate through these challenging times.

Let’s end the stigma around mental health disorders. Let’s talk about them, understand them, and most importantly, seek help when needed. Because mental health matters, and so do you!

Request a Callback

"*" indicates required fields