Which symptoms must be present to meet the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Among the criteria for a major depressive disorder, at least 5 of the following symptoms have to have been present during the same 2-week period (and at least 1 of the symptoms must be diminished interest/pleasure or depressed mood) [2] :

  • Depressed mood: For children and adolescents, this can also be an irritable mood

  • Diminished interest or loss of pleasure in almost all activities (anhedonia)

  • Significant weight change or appetite disturbance: For children, this can be failure to achieve expected weight gain

  • Sleep disturbance (insomnia or hypersomnia)

  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation

  • Fatigue or loss of energy

  • Feelings of worthlessness

  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate; indecisiveness

  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suicide

See Clinical Presentation for more detail.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!