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4 Tutorials that teach Mood Depressive Disorders
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Mood Depressive Disorders

Mood Depressive Disorders


This lesson will identify, describe and differentiate the primary symptom(s)for each type of depressive disorder.

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What's Covered

This lesson will cover a subcategory of mood disorders by looking at:

  1. Depressive Disorders
  2. Types of Depressive Disorders
  3. Treatment

1. Depressive Disorders

Depressive disorders are any kind of mood disorders, that occur in the absence of manic episodes. A person may display long periods of symptoms like reduced activity, lack of enjoyment in other activities,  and feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.

Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders. Over 19 million people experience depression in some form, and depression often occurs with other psychological disorders, and can be a symptom of another disorder.

ExampleAnxiety disorders or schizophrenia.

Depression is different from just feeling very sad or down because it occurs for long periods of time. This can range from weeks all the way up to multiple years of feeling the specific kind of depression.

It's important to note that depression isn't necessarily sadness. Oftentimes these words are used  synonymously, but depression is more akin to feeling a lack of something.

ExampleHopelessness and not getting any kind of joy or happiness out of things.

Depression can often affect a person's behavior. If a person is depressed, they can have trouble sleeping or eating. They also can display poor performance at work or at school. There are two major types of depressive disorders:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Dysthymic Disorder

2. Types of Depressive Disorders

Major Depressive Disorder is sort of a pure depressive disorder.  A person experiences depression for a period of at least two weeks in length. It is also pure because it is not caused by any substances, bereavement, or other psychological disorders.

Term to Know

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • A depressive disorder in which a person experiences depression for at least two weeks.

Persons with Major Depressive Disorder often have recurring thoughts of death and of suicide. This can be an incredibly dangerous one in terms of the behavioral component of it and the effect that it can have. In fact 60% of people that commit suicide are depressed in some form.

Dysthymic Disorder is a form of depression that isn't necessarily as severe as Major Depressive Disorder. The symptoms the person is displaying aren't quite as extreme or as problematic for the person. Although it is still a problem and can impair their functions.

Term to Know

  • Dysthymic Disorder
  • A form of depression that isn’t as severe as major depressive disorder and that lasts for a longer period of time (for the majority of the time for at least two years).

In Dysthymic Disorder, these symptoms occur for an even longer period of time. The feels are present most of the time and occur for at least two years in lenghth. Because of that length, this can lead to some very severe problems in a person's life where they withdraw, and they don't have social support from other people.

They may also constantly have feelings of worthlessness or loneliness. While the symptoms may not be as severe and may not require hospitalization due to suicidal thoughts, it still has a huge effect on a person's life because of that longer period of time.

3. Treatment

Treatment for depressive disorders can vary very widely. There many different treatment types that people will experiment with, especially considering the prevalence of this disorder. The two major forms of treatment are drugs and psychotherapy.

Drugs are a  well-known treatment for depression. Antidepressants like Prozac or Zoloft that have entered common speech. In general, antidepressant drugs have gotten a lot better. SSRIs, or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, are a newer type of drug with less serious side effects than things like MAO inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants, which were classically being used.

Psychotherapy has proven to be very effective in the treatment of things like Dysthymic Disorder on its own. It is even more effective with Major Depressive Disorder and with other types of depressive disorders when used in conjunction with medication.


Depressive disorder are any kind of mood disorder that occur in the absence of manic episodes. It is one of the most common types of psychological disorders. It occurs for an extended period of time. Two types of depressive disorders are Major Depressive Disorder and Dysthymic Disorder. Major Depressive Disorder lasts for at least two weeks in length, and has severe symptoms. Dysthymic Disorder lasts for at least two years, but with less severe symptoms. Treatment can include drugs and psychotherapy. The best outcome is usually produced when these treatments are used in conjunction with each other.

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Erick Taggart

  • Major Depressive Disorder

    A depressive disorder in which a person experiences depression for at least two weeks.

  • Dysthymic Disorder

    A form of depression that isn’t as severe as major depressive disorder and that lasts for a longer period of time (for the majority of the time for at least two years).