How might appearance and affect change in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

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

Most patients with major depressive disorder present with a normal appearance. In patients with more severe symptoms, a decline in grooming and hygiene can be observed, as well as a change in weight. Patients may show psychomotor retardation, which manifests as a slowing or loss of spontaneous movement and reactivity, as well as demonstrate a flattening or loss of reactivity in the patient's affect (i.e., emotional expression). Psychomotor agitation or restlessness can also be observed in some patients with major depressive disorder.


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