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what is a major depressive episode

A major depressive episode is a period characterized by the symptoms of major depressive disorder: primarily depressed mood for two weeks or more, and a loss of interest or pleasure in everyday activities, accompanied by other symptoms such as feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, anxiety, worthlessness, guilt and/or irritability, changes in appetite, problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, and thoughts of or attempts at suicide.

Insomnia or hypersomnia, aches, pains, or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may also be present. The description has been formalised in psychiatric diagnostic criteria such as the DSM-5 and ICD-10.

Significant emotional pain and economic costs are associated with depression. In the United States and Canada, the costs associated with major depression are comparable to those related to heart disease, diabetes, and back problems and are greater than the costs of hypertension. According to the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, there is a direct correlation between major depressive episode and unemploymen