Major Depressive Disorder

Over 1 in 5 Americans can expect to experience some form of depression in their lifetime. Over 1 in 20 Americans experience a depressive episode every year. Depression is one of the most common and most serious mental health problems facing people today. There are many forms that depression may take. Among these are Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Cyclothymia.

A person who suffers from major depressive disorder 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 person’s normal mood; social, occupational, educational or other important functioning must also be negatively impaired by the change in mood. The symptoms are not natural reactions to events (e.g., if after a loved one dies, significant symptoms persist for two months after the event).


  • Reduced interest and/or pleasure in activities most of the day, almost every day.
  • Significant weight loss or gain not related to dieting
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Major changes in sleeping patterns
  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day.
  • Feeling worthless or having excessive guilt almost every day.
  • Problems with concentration almost every day.
  • Recurring thoughts of death (more than fear of dying), suicidal ideation, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for committing suicide.

If these symptoms seem relevant to you, we can help. Feel free to contact us by calling our main desk at (617) 353-9610, or by emailing Bonnie Brown, our nurse administrator, at Also, if you qualify for one of our ongoing research studies, you may be eligible to receive free treatment as a part of our current research opportunities.


American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.