Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood that is accompanied by low self-esteem and by a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. The term “depression” is used in a number of different ways. It is often used to mean this syndrome but may refer to other mood disorders or simple to a low mood.
Major depressive disorder is a disabling condition that adversely affects a person’s family, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health. In the United States, around 3.4% of people with major depression commit suicide and up to 60% of people who commit suicide had depression or another mood disorder. Research shows that suicide accounts for 9.5 % of non-natural deaths in young people in South Africa.