While depression can be a broad or general term, there are a number of different kinds of depression, and identifying the type of depression affecting you or a loved one is beneficial in creating a treatment plan.
Common types of depression include:
Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder commonly known as Clinical Depression.
Those with MDD report extreme sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, trouble concentrating and decision-making, as well as feelings of guilt. When these symptoms endure past a two-week mark, someone can be diagnosed with clinical depression.
People with Clinical Depression may also experience loss of appetite, loss of sleep, physical pain, and suicidal thoughts. Luckily, an overwhelming majority of people with Clinical Depression respond well to talk therapy and antidepressant medication.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
Persistent Depressive Disorder, also known as Dysthymia, is a form of chronic depression that persists for more than one to two years.
Dysthymia impacts one’s life in feelings of anger, sadness, irritability, or guilt; a lack of energy; over- or under-eating; and difficulty getting restful sleep.
While it is reported that someone with Persistent Depressive Disorder can also experience relief from these negative symptoms, these “breaks” may only last up to two months.
While it was thought that PDD is typically mild, Persistent Depressive Disorder can also be moderate or severe. Without adequate treatment, those with PDD may be at risk of Major Depressive Disorder.
Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder)
Someone who lives with Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depression, may experience depression during their low moods.
During the highs of mania, someone may talk rapidly, experience a euphoric mood, have increased ambition, and overspend, all while neglecting to eat or sleep. These periods of mania can include excessive risk-taking and self-destructive behavior, and are then followed by a period of depression.
Treatment with a mood stabilizer may make everyday life more manageable for someone who deals with the extreme highs and lows of Bipolar Disorder.
Psychotic Depression is a type of depression characterized by psychosis.
Someone with Psychotic Depression may have symptoms of MDD, and have delusional thoughts or beliefs; disorganized, erratic thoughts and speech; and may even experience hallucinations.
Effective treatment can be found in a combination of antidepressant medication and antipsychotic drugs.
Postpartum Depression may develop after a woman gives birth. It can start during hormonal changes during pregnancy, and persist up to two weeks after birth or last up to a year if untreated.
Women with postpartum depression may feel lethargic, helpless, a loss of interest in things that used to bring them joy, social withdrawal, fatigue, and fear about being unable to bond with their newborn.
Other serious symptoms in women with Postpartum Depression may include thoughts about self-harm and suicide, and fears or thoughts about hurting their baby. PPD requires prompt care in a combination of drug and talk therapy.
In addition to seeking treatment, women with PPD benefit from getting enough sleep; regularly eating nutritious meals; and getting help from their loved ones in sharing the work of caring for their children.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Some people who live in sunnier climates may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder,
abbreviated as SAD, in the fall and winter, when nights fall earlier and there is less daylight and sunshine to enjoy.
It is theorized that various causes can include: earlier nightfall interrupting the natural rhythms of one’s body, or a vitamin D deficiency due to less daily sunlight.
Those who experience SAD can seek treatment or use Light Therapy, but can also look forward to their symptoms being alleviated as the days get longer during spring and summer.
While Atypical Depression is not yet especially well-understood in the field, it is not uncommon, and it is theorized to be underdiagnosed.
Characteristics include: the physical sensation of feeling “weighed down,” or heaviness in the arms and legs; extreme sensitivity towards rejection; strongly reactive moods; and weight gain. Most important for identifying atypical depression are overeating and excessive sleep.
Talk therapy is believed to be beneficial for this type of depression.
If you are suffering from depression or are interested in finding out more about the best treatment options for your situation, contact our office to speak to a psychiatric care provider who can help you conquer the effects of depression.