Minor Depression: What You Need to Know
Minor depression is a form of depression that is not as severe as major depressive disorder. Often, people with minor depression may experience symptoms that interfere with their daily life, but they are still able to function. While the symptoms of minor depression may be less severe than major depression, they can still be debilitating and affect quality of life. This article will discuss what minor depression is, the symptoms, and how it can be treated.
What Is Minor Depression?
Minor depression is a form of depression that is less severe than major depressive disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines minor depression as having at least two of the following symptoms for at least two weeks:
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all activities
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
The symptoms must cause significant distress and impairment in social, occupational, and other important areas of functioning.
What Causes Minor Depression?
The exact cause of minor depression is unknown. However, there are several factors that can contribute to its development. These include genetic predisposition, childhood trauma, chronic stress, and certain medications.
What Are the Symptoms of Minor Depression?
The symptoms of minor depression are similar to those of major depressive disorder. They include depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day; markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all activities; significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain; insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day; psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day; fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day; feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt; diminished ability to think or concentrate; and recurrent thoughts of death.
How Is Minor Depression Treated?
Treatment for minor depression typically involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medications such as antidepressants can help reduce symptoms such as depressed mood and insomnia. Psychotherapy can help people identify negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to their depression and develop healthier coping skills.
Minor depression is a form of depression that is less severe than major depressive disorder. While its symptoms may not be as severe as those associated with major depressive disorder, they can still be debilitating and affect quality of life. Treatment typically involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with minor depression, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.