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Can depression become a disability?

In the mental health world, depression is common. Mild depression may not seem debilitating. Many who suffer from depression live a full life. This may not be the case for those who suffer from severe depression, however. Mental health can qualify as a disability, one in which you can recover disability benefits. 

According to Healthline, major depressive disorder or MDD can feel devastating, overwhelming and debilitating. 

What are the symptoms of depression?

To diagnose depression, a healthcare professional looks at the symptoms and behavior of the patient. A patient may complete a questionnaire to determine whether a person has depression and how severe it is. 

Major depression symptoms may include intense and persistent negative feelings. A person may experience sadness, anger or frustration often. Patients may also have sleep disturbances, difficulty working, poor hygiene, mood swings and weight gain or loss. Depression can affect a person’s entire body. Some may have physical symptoms, such as aches and pains, particularly in the head and back. 

A person may lose interest in his or her hobbies, may suffer from fatigue and pain to such an extreme that he or she has to miss work. Suicide and self-harm are also symptoms of depression. 

What causes major depressive disorder?

For those with MDD, they may experience a significant decline in their ability to function in daily life. There is no real way to know what causes depression. Some factors can increase your chances of developing MDD, however. Some of these risk factors include a history of depression, persistent stress-levels, hormonal changes and a family history of MDD.