Unifying Concepts

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Major Depressive Disorder

The diagnostic criteria for major depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5), require the presence of either sadness or anhedonia with a total of five or more symptoms over a 2-week period.

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Major Depressive Disorder
Five or more of the following symptoms must be present nearly every day during a 2-wk period:
Core symptoms (>/= 1 required for diagnosis)

  • Depressed mood most of the day
  • Anhedonia or markedly decreased interest or pleasure in almost all activities

Additional symptoms

  • Clinically significant weight loss or increase or decrease in appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D)



  1. Taylor WD. Clinical practice. Depression in the elderly. N Engl J Med. 2014 Sep 25;371(13):1228-36. [Medline]
  2. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 5th ed. rev.: DSM-V. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

This material was taken from the DSM-5. It is intended for educational purposes only.


Created Nov 03, 2014.

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