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Major Depression


Major depression is the most common condition treated by psychologists. In this book chapter, we first outline the typical symptoms that characterize major depression as well as common risk factors for the development of the disorder. Next, we discuss common diagnostic tools that assist clinicians in the initial recognition of the disorder as well as in further monitoring of the disorder across time. Potential pitfalls and complicating factors related to the diagnosis and monitoring of major depression are also addressed. We then discuss maintaining factors and mechanisms of change associated with major depression, as any psychological intervention has to take these into account when tailoring an appropriate intervention. Finally, we conclude by describing several evidence based treatments available to treat depression and the various outlets available for psychologists who are interested in learning how to apply these treatments in their clinical practice.