The Two States of Major Depressive Disorder

The Two States of Major Depressive Disorder

By Depression Connect StaffA Published at December 4, 2017 Views 5,115 Comments 2

Approximately 15 million American adults, or five to eight percent, live with major depressive disorder (MDD) each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In fact, MDD is the leading cause of disability in the United States, making it an important target for research. If MDD goes untreated, the frequency and severity of symptoms tends to increase.

Because MDD symptoms occur in irregular episodes, some researchers believe that the condition may be better defined as nonlinear, with two independent states, according to a study released in mid-September and published on BMC Psychiatry. Recently, scientists in the Netherlands set out to explore the two states of MDD.

Study overview

The researchers studied patients with MDD for two years, recording and analyzing their symptom patterns on a weekly basis. They found evidence that suggests people with MDD do indeed experience two different states of behavior, defined as having either few or many depressive symptoms, and that they sometimes move from one state to the other. This theory had been proposed previously, but had not been scientifically studied and measured.

Moving forward

Study authors hope that health care providers will be able to use these findings to better treat MDD. They believe that one day it might be possible to better recognize and even predict both abrupt changes in behavior and MDD remissions. Further research will be needed.

Does this research help you to better understand your depression? Do you think it could help improve your treatment? Add your comment below.

For more on major depressive disorder:

Am I Suffering from a Major Depressive Episode?
The 3 Most Common Types of Depression
Major Depressive Disorder May Accelerate Aging, Research Says

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