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Major Depressive Disorder requires 5+ of 9 possible symptoms to diagnose. ONE of the symptoms must be:

  • Depressed mood (aka almost always feeling sad, empty, numb, or hopeless)AND/OR
  • Significantly reduced interest or pleasure in activities (aka nothing feels fun or seems interesting anymore)

After confirming that someone experiences a depressed mood and/or diminished interest, a clinician must assess how many additional symptoms a person experiences.(Click on "cognitive" "physical" and "emotional" below for more details.)

Once it's confirmed that a person experiences 5 or more total symptoms, a clinician must confirm that the person is experiencing significant distress or impairment (remember the "5 D's"?) and that the symptoms are not caused by substance use or a medical condition (which would warrant a different diagnosis). The symptoms must occur together nearly all day, every day, for 2+ weeks.

feeling worthless AND/OR excessively or inappropriately guilty

difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, and/or indecisivenessrecurrent thoughts of death or suicide AND/OR a suicide attempt or plan

Increase OR decrease in...- amount of sleep- amount of movement- appetite and/or weight- and/or feeling fatigued