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Course: MCAT > Unit 4

Lesson 1: Foundations of behavior passages

Gender differences in symptoms of major depressive disorder


Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects approximately 7% of the population and involves the experience of one or more major depressive episodes. Major depressive episodes last for a minimum of two weeks, and are characterized by depressed mood, trouble eating and sleeping, feelings of guilt, decreased energy and concentration, and thoughts about death. Women are diagnosed with MDD more often than men (at a rate of approximately 2:1) and may also experience symptoms at different rates than men. The present study seeks to examine rates of specific symptoms of major depressive disorder and determine whether these rates differ significantly by gender.
Two hundred individuals with a DSM 5 diagnosis of MDD are enrolled in the investigational study. The sample includes 100 males and 100 females ranging in age from 18-30, with a mean age of 26.4. All of the patients complete a self-report inventory of MDD symptoms. The inventory asks patients to disclose whether or not they are currently experiencing depressed mood, irritability, anhedonia, weight loss, weight gain, insomnia, hypersomnia, fatigue, feeling worthless, guilt, and/or suicidal ideation. The data is analyzed to estimate differences between women and men on each symptom; the results of this analysis are found in Figure 1.
Figure 1
One of the depressive symptoms assessed in study was anhedonia. Which of the following statements accurately defines anhedonia?
Choose 1 answer: