Nutrition Health Review

FALL 2017

Nutrition Health Review provides consumers updates on the latest medical research, news, trends, and products in nutrition and healthy living.

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3 Fall 2017 • Volume 117 M ajor depressive disorder (MDD) is a complex mental illness with a wide variety of causes and manifestaƟons. It's different from regular sadness that a person might feel if they lose a job, for example, and it's even different from the feeling of grief aŌer the death of a loved one, even though the bereavement process can share the same features as depression. When someone suffers from major depression, they experience periods of persistent sadness and withdrawal from previously enjoyed acƟviƟes. Those with major depression also experience significant issues with self-esteem and struggle with feelings of worthlessness. These symptoms, experts explain, are caused by a complex array of billions of chemical processes, working both inside and outside nerve cells, that affect your mood and percepƟons. In addiƟon, some individuals are more vulnerable to developing depression or another mood disorder based on their geneƟcs, which have a large impact on how we handle stress. Further, individuals whose geneƟc makeup makes them more sensiƟve to stressful life events, such as loss, trauma, illness, or abuse, might develop depression in response to these events. If this trauma or loss happens early in life, this can resonate throughout that person's life, becoming a catalyst for depression into adolescence and adulthood. Put simply, depression occurs when certain geneƟcs, biology, and varying degrees of stressful life events come together. 1 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MDD The American Psychiatry AssociaƟon 2 lists the following characterisƟcs as symptoms of mild- to-severe depression. Let your doctor know if you've been experiencing any of these symptoms for at least two weeks: • Feeling sad or depressed • Loss of interest in acƟviƟes and hobbies once enjoyed • Changes in appeƟte—either eaƟng more or less than is normal for you • Inability to sleep, or sleeping too much WHEN IT'S MORE THAN JUST THE BLUES: Living with Clinical Depression

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