Types of depression

Addiction disorders, Anxiety and Depression, Anxiety disorders, There are different types of depression have been categorized using the most prominent symptoms / causes. These include:
Major depression
Major depression is sometimes called major depressive disorder, clinical depression, unipolar depression or simply depression. It involves low mood and/or loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities.
Major depressive disorder can be broken down into a few sub-types. These are:
  • Atypical depression – this type of depression revolves largely around feelings of social rejection and is often accompanied by weight gain and excessive tiredness and longer sleeping hours.
  • Post partum depression – a type of major depression sometimes suffered by women after they have given birth.
  • Catatonic depression – this is an extreme type of depression in which the sufferer
    can’t speak and often has very limited control over his or her body movements.
  • Seasonal affective disorder – this disorder includes essentially the same symptoms as major depressive disorder, except it only affects the sufferer during certain seasons (usually winter and autumn/fall).
  • Melancholic depression – this is the type of depression most people tend to associate with the word ‘depression’ – it’s characterized by feelings of grief or guilt, the loss of ability to feel enjoyment or pleasure, and is often accompanied by weight loss.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder used to be known as 'manic depression' because the person experiences periods of depression and periods of mania, with periods of normal mood in between. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
There are four basic types of bipolar disorder:
  • Bipolar I Disorderdefined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at
    least 2 weeks.
  • Bipolar II Disorderdefined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
  • Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS)diagnosed when symptoms of the illness exist but do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person's normal range of behavior.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymiaa mild form of bipolar disorder. People with cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania as well as mild depression for at least 2 years. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.

Dysthymic disorder

The symptoms of dysthymia are similar to those of major depression but are less severe. However, in the case of dysthymia, symptoms last longer. A person has to have this milder depression for more than two years to be diagnosed with dysthymia.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that has a seasonal pattern. The cause of the disorder is unclear; however it is thought to be related to the variation in light exposure in different seasons. It's characterised by mood disturbances (either periods of depression or mania) that begin and end in a particular season. Depression which starts in winter and subsides when the season ends is the most common. It's usually diagnosed after the person has had the same symptoms during winter for a couple of years. People with Seasonal Affective Disorder depression are more likely to experience lack of energy, sleep too much, overeat, gain weight and crave for carbohydrates.
The most important thing to remember is that all depression can be managed or overcome with the correct support, treatment and self-help activities.

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