Major depressive disorder Symptoms The core symptom of major depression is a sad mood that does not go away. While most people have occasional days when they feel out of sorts, persons with MDD experience low feelings that build gradually over a period of days or weeks. They are usually not able to "snap out of it" even when something positive happens. In some cases, the symptoms are preceded by an obvious loss or painful event, such as divorce or a death in the family, but the disorder may also appear to begin "out of the blue." People with MDD often appear sad, irritable, and easily moved to tears. They may sleep poorly and complain of vague physical aches and pains; experience sexual difficulties or loss of interest in sex; drop out of social activities; and come across to others as unhappy or lacking in energy. Some people with MDD may deny that they feel depressed, but they lose their enthusiasm for hobbies or work they once found enjoyable and rewarding. Children and adolescents present with many of these same characteristics, but they may often
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