Symptoms and features of MDD (IB)

Learn the symptoms of MDD on Quizlet:

Self-rated depression scale (Zung 1965): zung_scale

case-history-of-depression: Read Vanessa’s story about her depression and the help she received from her community psychiatric nurse (CPN). See if you can find other case histories of people with depression online.

depression-introduction1: A PowerPoint to help identify symptoms and features

depsub-1-pdf: There are various sub-types of depression, we only need to know about one type (MDD also called Uni-Polar Depression as oppose to bi-polar) but you might be interested to know a little about some of the others.

One important change in DSM 5 that affects the diagnosis of MDD, useful for the validity of diagnosis: apa_dsm-5-depression-bereavement-exclusion

Read up in the A level textbook p. 84-85 for more information about the symptoms and features.


  1. Review Sofia story and search for evidence of ABCS: affective, behavioural, cognitive and somatic symptoms of UPD.
  2. Be sure to have a full sets of ABCS in your book/folder; hrere are a few more symptoms that are not in the book – add them under the correct headings: People with depression may also…
    • be indecisive and find it hard to concentrate or pay attention for long at a time
    • experience loss of libido (sex drive)
    • can be fidgetty, be slow in movement, sit still in same position for long periods
  3. What would you need to know before deciding whether Sofia should be diagnosed or not?
  4. Using the relevant pages from DSM 5 and ICD 10, compare and contrast the symptoms and features. What do they have in common and how do they differ. Discuss this in pairs; present your discussion as a Venn diagram. You can also use this information in your classifications essays too. When you have finished click here
  5. Write no more than 50 words to summarize the symptoms of depression; you must write in grammatical sentences (not bullet-points).

starsStretch and challenge

Read up from p 84: Loss, grief and depression

Why should we avoid medicalising grief?



In conclusion, depression is a relatively common but potentially devastating condition, not least due to its links with suicide. On the one hand, Ponizovsky (2006) demonstrates that reliable diagnosis may be possible; however the work of Regier (2013) suggests that this may be more difficult. Type 1 errors may be common as clinicians may be anxious about preventing a person from be able to access the support and treatment that they need. While distress and self -doubt may well be part of the normal human condition for many, it may be necessary to focus on qualitative research which listens to the stories of people with depression, in their own words, to truly comprehend the difference.