Major Depressive Episode

A major depressive episode (colloquially known as a nervous breakdown) is a psychiatric episode marked by extreme depressive symptoms. A major depressive episode has many symptoms of major depressive disorder but is different due to the non-chronic nature and the cause of the episode. Major depressive disorder is chronic and pervasive with no definitive cause while a major depressive episode is typically caused by an extreme emotional event like the death of a loved one or financial loss.

The symptoms of a major depressive episode typically subside once the shock and emotional consequences of the stressor have disappeared. To be diagnosed with a major depressive episode five or more of the following symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks: depressed mood, no affect, anhedonia, weight gain or loss, sleep issues, lethargy, fatigue, lowered self-worth, a decrease in cognitive abilities, or suicidal thoughts.

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