Introduction to Depressive Disorders

What classifies a disorder as Depressive?

Each disorder within this class involves the individual feeling empty, sad and/or irritable, while also experiencing physical and cognitive changes that disrupt their typical functioning in school, at work, or in other important settings.  Depressive Disorders are distinguished from one another based on the timing, or age of onset of the symptoms; the duration of the symptoms; and, the presumed cause of the symptoms.

Prior to the publishing of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5), Depressive Disorders and Bipolar Related Disorders were within the same class.  These disorders were separated because depression is unipolar, meaning the diagnosed individual only experiences a “down” period; this is opposed to bipolar, where the diagnosed individual experiences both “up” and “down” periods.

Names of the Disorders within the Class

Depressive Disorders

Organization of this Blog Series

The Depressive Disorders’ Blog Series has four parts:  Part One will cover Specifiers for Depressive Disorders; Part Two differentiates Major Depressive Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder; Part Three details Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder; and Part Four describes Depressive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition, Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder, Other Specified Depressive Disorder, and Unspecified Depressive Disorder.

Click HERE to read the introduction to this blog series, Mental Health Diagnoses!, which covers how diagnosis using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual- 5 works.

Stay Tuned for Part One!


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Web. [access date: 24 April 2018].

One thought on “Introduction to Depressive Disorders

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s