Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), also commonly referred to as Major Depression or Clinical Depression, is a mood disorder that goes far beyond the “blues” that most people experience from time to time throughout life.
What is Major Depression?
Major Depressive Disorder involves a period of profound sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest and/or pleasure that is severe enough to interfere with activities of daily living such as work, social relationships, self-care, and physical health. The symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder vary from person to person – some may have trouble sleeping, lose weight and feel agitated or irritable; others may report excessive sleeping and eating as well as feeling worthless and guilty. Low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness and despair are also commonly reported, as well as thoughts of suicide, at times leading to social isolation and profound loneliness. Other physical and mental symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, trouble concentrating, head and body aches, and memory difficulties can also be present.
Major Depressive Disorder can occur at any age; however the average age of onset appears to be in the mid-20’s. People who have a parent or sibling who has experienced a major depressive episode tend to be more likely to develop Major Depressive Disorder than those who do not. The exact causes of Major Depressive Disorder are not fully known, but various factors, usually in combination, have been identified as possible influences on the development of Major Depressive Disorder: chemical abnormalities, certain medical conditions (i.e. thyroid irregularities, cancer, hormonal changes), traumatic experiences, certain medications (i.e. steroids), alcohol or drug abuse, insomnia, and/or stressful life events. A diagnosis is generally made through a clinical interview that utilizes self-report and report from others on the affected person’s thinking, mood and behaviors.
How BrightQuest treats Major Depressive Disorder
Although many people with Major Depressive Disorder often experience a loss of hope, the reality is that there is help available. Because Major Depressive Disorder is often experienced in isolation and loneliness with substantial cut-off from many social and communal settings, BrightQuest believes that the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder is best facilitated within a supportive, social environment. By becoming an integral member of a supportive therapeutic community, individuals with Major Depressive Disorder have the opportunity to develop and practice healthy ways of coping with depression, learning how to do so while building and maintaining a solid support system.
The reciprocal nature of BrightQuest’s therapeutic community provides the space for program members to both learn from and teach each other how to manage one’s illness in the context of building a healthy social support network, which is vital to the healing and maintenance of recovery from mental disorders, especially the characteristically isolative experience of Major Depressive Disorder. BrightQuest’s experienced treatment team offers guidance and support in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), nutrition and physical wellness counseling, and various other forms of therapies identified as effective in helping people with Major Depressive Disorder.