Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Steven J. Choi & Karina Davidson
Clinical depression refers to a group of psychiatric disorders in which the primary symptoms are persistent depressed mood (either self-reported or observed by others) and/or markedly diminished interest/ pleasure in activities most of the day, nearly every day, for at least a 2-week duration (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). These psychiatric disorders are comprised primarily of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), single episode and recurrent, and Dysthymic Disorder (DD). Although MDD and DD can co-occur, DD represents a less severe but longer lasting disorder marked by persistent depressed mood. The majority of individuals (approximately 72%) who have had MDD tend to have recurrent episodes of depression (Kessler, Zhao, Blazer, & Swartz, 1997). To be diagnosed with MDD, the patient must have a number of psychological and physiological symptoms that represent a change from previous levels of functioning, that lead to significant impairments in functioning, and that cannot be attributed to the direct ...