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Major Depressive Disorder: Single Episode Symptoms and DSM-IV Diagnosis


Major Depressive Disorder: Single Episode Symptoms and Diagnosis Overview:

Major Depressive Disorder: Single Episode symptoms and diagnostic criteria follow below. While some of these Major Depressive Disorder: Single Episode symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals,  and others, only  properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis. Many additional factors are considered in addition to the Major Depressive Disorder: Single Episode symptoms in making proper diagnosis, including frequently medical and psychological testing consideration. This information on Major Depressive Disorder: Single Episode symptoms and diagnostic criteria are for information purposes only and should never replace the judgment and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician.

Diagnostic criteria for 296.2x Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode


A.    Presence of a single Major Depressive Episode (see below).


B.    The Major Depressive Episode is not better accounted for by Schizoaffective Disorder and is not superimposed on Schizophrenia, Schizophreniform Disorder, Delusional Disorder, or Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.


C.    There has never been a Manic Episode, a Mixed Episode, or a Hypomanic Episode. Note: This exclusion does not apply if all of the manic-like, mixed-like, or hypomanic-like episodes are substance or treatment induced or are due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition. 


If the full criteria are currently met for a Major Depressive Episode, specify its current clinical status and/or features.


Mild, Moderate, Severe Without Psychotic Features/Severe With Psychotic Features


With Catatonic Features

With Melancholic Features

With Atypical Features

Postpartum Onset


If the full criteria are not currently met for Major Depressive Episode, specify the current clinical status of the Major Depressive Disorder or features of the most recent episode):


In Partial Remission, In Full Remission


With Catatonic Features

With Melancholic Features

With Atypical Features

Postpartum Onset


Criteria for Severity/Psychotic/Remission Specifiers for Current (or most recent ) Mixed Episode


Major Depressive Episode


A.    Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.


Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.


(1)   depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.

(2)   markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)

(3)   significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.

(4)   Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

(5)   Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)

(6)   Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

(7)   Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)

(8)   Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

(9)   Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide


B.    The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode (see p. 335).


C.    The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.


D.    The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).


E.    The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.


Additional Major Depressive Disorder Diagnosis

Information adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

Web www.Psychtreatment.Com
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Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: Alphabetical

Major Depressive Disorder Help Online @


Copyright 1999    [].    All rights reserved.   Revised: December 30, 2009     636-300-9922