How Many Types of Depression Are There?

Generally speaking, when people bring up depression, they are referring to what is called major depression. However, it is important to note that there are other disorders with similar symptoms that can be called depression as well. Due to this, it is important for interested individuals to have a good idea of what kind of depression is being discussed. Here are some of the different kinds of depression that can be found out there:

Major Depression

Some people might be more familiar with major depression under the name of clinical depression. This is a very common problem, so much so that the number of people who suffer from it in the United States can be counted in the millions and millions. For someone to be diagnosed with major depression, they need to have experienced at least five of its symptoms for two weeks or longer. Some examples of symptoms include but are not limited to feelings of guilt, feelings of sadness, feelings of hopelessness, loss of appetite, loss of interest in once pleasing things, and thoughts of suicide. It is interesting to note that major depression can be further divided into two kinds, with one being atypical depression and the other being melancholic depression. With atypical depression, sufferers are in a very anxious state, with the result that they tend to eat a lot as well as sleep a lot. In contrast, the sufferers of melancholic depression tend to spend a lot of time ruminating over thoughts of guilt, which is why they often have problems with falling asleep.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Generally speaking, persistent depressive disorder can be considered a more low-level kind of depression when compared to major depression. For example, it can be diagnosed when someone feel bad most of the time while also suffering from at least two other symptoms of depression so long as they have experienced these problems for two years or more. Generally speaking, people with persistent depressive disorder remain functional to some extent, but the symptoms nonetheless nonetheless make it very unpleasant in nature. Luckily, persistent depressive disorder can be treated using medicine as well as psychotherapy.

Bipolar Disorder

There is a reason that bipolar disorder was once called manic-depressive disease. In short, bipolar people have periods of depression as well as periods in which they exhibit much higher levels of energy than what can be considered normal. Someone who is manic can show signs of faster thinking, increased impulsiveness, increased pursuit of pleasure, a reduced need for sleep, and a sense of self-confidence that is well beyond what anyone can consider to be reasonable. As a result, while these so-called manic episodes can feel good for people who suffer from bipolar disorder, they can have destructive consequences. Never mind how they tend to lead into a depressive episode.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Like its name suggests, seasonal affective disorder is something that shows up when the days get shorter during fall and winter. Due to this, it is believed that the disorder is caused by a reduction in the sufferer’s exposure to light, which is supported by how seasonal affective disorder can be treated by the use of light therapy. For those who are curious, light therapy can be summed up as sitting close to a very intense source of light. However, it is interesting to note that the treatments used for other kinds of depression can sometimes prove effective for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder as well.

Perinatal Depression

Women have higher chances of suffering from depression than their male counterparts. Even worse, there are some kinds of depression that affect women but not men, with an excellent example being perinatal depression. In short, perinatal depression is caused by changes in a woman’s hormones during pregnancy as well as during the first 12 months after a delivery, which is why the latter is sometimes called postpartum depression. Perinatal depression is a serious threat that affects one in seven women, meaning that if someone believes that they might be suffering from it, they should seek out a medical professional for counselling as well as other treatments that can help them overcome their particular problem.


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