Depressive Disorder And Its Diagnostic Criteria

The psychological disorder I chose to research is depression or depressive disorder. Depression is a common mood disorder that manifests in the continuous feeling of sadness and hopelessness. According to Gans (2021), depression negatively influences individuals through symptoms that interfere with their functioning in daily life. The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for depression suggest that depression symptoms last longer than two weeks. Furthermore, the DSM-5 classification outlines that an individual should necessarily experience a loss of interest in life and lack of pleasure in preferred activities or a depressed mood to diagnose the depressive disorder. Other symptoms include significant changes in weight and appetite, reduction of physical activity and movements, sleep disturbance, feeling of fatigue and energy loss, self-doubt, indecisiveness, and frequent thoughts about death without suicidal intentions.

There are several treatment options for depression, including psychotherapy, the use of medications, and self-help. Psychotherapy is effective for depression treatment, and many therapists even specialize in depression treatment with different methods and approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy. Medication treatment primarily focuses on reducing depression symptoms to minimize their impact on individuals’ daily life. Thus, antidepressant medications block the production of neurotransmitter agents in the body to prevent negative mood changes.

Considering the materials learned in the course so far, I find that research about depression disorder directly relates to the materials about neuroscience and psychology overall. Depression disorder and its causes emphasize the connection between neuroscience and psychology, as it directly involves malfunction of the brain processes. Stressful life changes can influence the brain cells and cause malfunction of mood regulation, resulting in depressive disorders. Thus, exploring the mechanisms of medication treatment for depression explains how important studying neuroscience is for the further development of psychology.


Gans, S. (2021). Depression. Web.