A major depressive episode is not a disorder in itself, but rather is a description of part of a disorder, most often major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.
A person who suffers from a major depressive episode must either have a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities consistently for at least a 2 week period. This mood must represent a change from the personís normal mood; social, occupational, educational or other important functioning must also be negatively impaired by the change in mood.
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Submitted on: 25-May-2000