Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder, sometimes called “clinical depression” or “depression”, can be triggered by a life event, or result from stress, or happen without a specific cause. It is the most severe form of depression where people exhibit a sense of hopelessness and despair along with low mood and negative thoughts.  This can affect the way people eat, sleep, feel about themselves, and think about things. Without treatment, the symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years.

People with depression can lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, withdraw socially, and have trouble concentrating or making decisions, and may experience changes in eating and sleeping patterns. Physical symptoms of depression can include fatigue, weight change, a feeling of being slowed down, headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain.

At its worst, people with depression can feel like they want to harm themselves, and experience or act on thoughts of suicide. There are several different types of depression, and RADAR-CNS focuses on Major Depressive Disorder, which affects approximately 7% of adults in Europe. Depression is thought to affect over 30 million people in the European Union (Wittchen 2011).