People usually think of depression as an overall term for one disorder. However, what many people do not know is that there are many different types of depression, and they each have specific qualities and symptoms that come along with them. There are also different causes of each type of depression. Some are due to chemical changes in the brain, while others come along due to events that have happened in your life. It is important to look for any changes in your body, as well as symptoms that can point to depression. You can talk to a doctor about how you are feeling, and there are other specialists who can find out exactly what type of depression is affecting you. No matter what type of depression it is, there are treatments that can help with the symptoms, and allow you to live your life without the depression taking over.
There are 8 types of depression. The first type of depression is called major depression. It is also called major depressive disorder, or clinical depression. This type of depression is diagnosed when the symptoms are felt for most of the days of the week, for more than two weeks. Some symptoms of major depression include: trouble concentrating, weight loss or gain, being tired and having no energy, feeling worthless or guilty, losing interest or pleasure in activities, or thoughts of suicide. There are medications that can be taken for this type of depression, and there is always the option of therapy alongside medication for treatment options.
The next type of depression is called persistent depressive disorder. This is depression that lasts for two years or more, and it is also known as dysthymia. Some of the symptoms that come along with this type of depression are: change in appetite, sleeping too much or too little, low self-esteem, feeling hopeless, and a lack of energy, or fatigue. Persistent depressive disorder is often treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both.
Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression, but now is another disorder all on its own. Bipolar has mood swings that range from extreme high energy to low, depressive period. When someone is in a low phase, they can show symptoms of major depression. There are medications to help with these low periods, but there is no proof that the medication is helpful in treating depression in people with bipolar disorder overall, just during the low phases.
Another type of depression is called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. This is a period of major depression that often happens during the winter months, when the days are shorter and there is less sunlight. Antidepressants can help with this type of depression, along with light therapy.
The next type of depression is called psychotic depression. This depression is marked by symptoms of major depression, as well as psychotic symptoms, like: delusions, paranoia and hallucinations. Medications are usually used for psychotic depression, most likely a combination of an antidepressant and an antipsychotic drug.
Postpartum depression is common in women in the weeks and months after childbirth. Antidepressants help, and this type of depression usually only lasts a few months.
Another type of depression that is common among women is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD. Women have this type of depression and other symptoms at the start of their period. Along with a depressed feeling, women may have: anxiety, mood swings, irritability, trouble concentrating, fatigue, feelings of being overwhelmed, and changes in appetite or sleep habits. Antidepressants and oral contraceptives can be used to treat PMDD.
The last type of depression is called atypical depression. This type is different from persistent sadness because if you have atypical depression, a positive event can improve your mood, even if only for a small amount of time. Some symptoms of atypical depression are: sleeping more than usual, oversensitive to criticism, increased appetites, and a feeling of heaviness in the arms and legs. There are different types of antidepressants that can help with this type of depression.
Although the different types of depression have similar symptoms, it is important to get diagnosed with the correct type. There are many different treatments for all of these types of depression, and getting the correct treatment can be extremely beneficial in the long run.