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12 Types of Depression – and How They Differ

by Rishabh
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We have all heard, or read, about people being in depression and struggling to get out of it. However, that is easier said than done. Once a person falls in depression, it takes a lot more than just a few counseling sessions to come out of it. Depression attacks you not just mentally, but also physically. However, depression is just a general category under which exists several sub-categories. In fact, not being able to identify the various kinds of depression is one of the main reasons preventing one from dealing with it effectively.

Types of Depression

Depression can be of several kinds, both mild and severe, short-lived and chronic. Depression is also known to make its appearance under special circumstances, or under those situations which one is unable to deal with in the right manner. However, identifying the kind of depression is enormously helpful in rendering the right kind of treatment. In addition, possessing the right kind of information is also extremely helpful to the individual himself. Here are the 12 types of depression and how they differ from one another.

1. Beyond the Blues

We all have days when we feel low, and nothing seems important enough to look forward to. When this feeling of sadness, boredom and emptiness, accompanied by a lack of concentration, lasts more than two weeks, it means that you are suffering from depression. It should always be remembered that depression has many forms, and each form may exhibit different kinds of symptoms. What should always be remembered, however, is that depression can be treated with the right kind of medicines, talk therapy and counselling sessions.

2. Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, is the most common form of depression that strikes the population in large numbers. It’s believed that more than 16 million adults worldwide have experienced at least one episode of major depressive disorder at one point in their lives. Diagnosis for a major depressive disorder usually involves a doctor looking for five basic symptoms that have an impact of your thoughts, actions and behavior. The other symptoms usually that are usually associated with this disorder are sadness, lack of enthusiasm in pursuing any kind of activity, not being able to sleep, having trouble making decisions, being unable to concentrate, being excessively sleepy and experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions.

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3. Persistent Depressive Disorder

If you have been frustrated and depressed for the last two years, then its clear that you are suffering from persistent depressive disorder. The doctors often refer to this kind of phenomenon as dysthymic disorder or dysthymia. However, it seems that more women rather than men suffer from persistent depressive disorder. Kids as well as teenagers may also suffer from this disorder, making them quite irritable and edgy. If the symptoms of PDD last for a year in the case of kids, then its time for them to undergo this diagnosis.

4. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic depression, is characterized by periods of emotional highs (popularly known as mania) and lows (popularly known as depression). These behavior swings not only have a considerable impact on the way you feel, but also on your behavior and decision-making ability. This can cause various kinds of problems related to your work, relationships and everyday life. Bipolar disorder is also associated with suicidal thoughts and life –taking behavior.

5. Seasonal Affective Disorder

For those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the winter season can be unbearably difficult to deal with. The symptoms of SAD are similar to those of depression. However, they normally make their appearance with the onset of winter, when there is considerably less delight. It is estimated that around 5% of people in America suffer from seasonal affective disorder. The treatments which are used to alleviate the symptoms include light therapy and medication. The other way is to wait until the arrival of the spring season, which is known to work wonders for uplifting the mood.

6. Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is an advanced stage of depression which is usually associated with delusions and hallucinations. The person experiencing psychotic depression is usually quite agitated and unable to relax. The ability to think clearly or move normally is greatly diminished. A person suffering from psychotic depression may usually require a short hospital stay.

7. Postpartum Depression

Most mothers, after their baby’s birth, generally feel a little let down. In some cases, those feelings could lead you to experience postpartum depression. The symptoms generally manifest themselves a few weeks after the baby’s birth and in some cases, up to a year later. Common symptoms of postpartum depression are mood swings, difficulty bonding with your baby, changes in thoughts and behavior and doubts regarding your mothering. If any of the symptoms associated with postpartum depression manifest themselves, you should immediately see the doctor.

8. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Its common for women to experience cramping and moodiness during premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, if the PMS is too severe and has a negative impact on your job and relationships, you may be suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The symptoms usually occur 7 to 10 days before the onset of your period and go away on their own. If you think you are suffering from PMDD, you should pay a visit to your doctor immediately. Some of the treatments to deal with this disorder include lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, oral contraceptives and antidepressants.

9. Adjustment Disorder

There are several times when life presents us with unexpected situations or places us in unforeseen circumstances. Many times, we are simply able to move forward. At other times however, we face an adjustment disorder that causes us great anxiety and depression. These are referred to by some people as “situational symptoms”. These usually present themselves within 3 months of a stressful event, and are usually gone by 6 months. In this kind of disorder, talk therapy is considered to be the best way of dealing with it.

10. Atypical Depression

Usually, bouts of depression leave you sad and empty. However, if your depression goes way after a good news or a positive experience, then that is referred to as atypical depression. This kind of depression is not rare but its symptoms can be quite different. Apart from the temporary mood lift, you may also experience a higher appetite, sleep for more than 10 hours and be very sensitive to criticism. You may also get a heavy feeling in your arms and legs, even though you may not be tired.

11. Treatment-Resistant Depression

Sometimes, as is the case with various diseases, certain treatments may not always work to help you get out of depression. About a third of the people affected by this disorder need extra aid and assistance. Doctors still seem unable to find the answer as to why some people respond well to the treatment while some people don’t. While some have success with their treatment, others don’t. Nevertheless, you should keep seeing your doctor for the best way out.

12. Subsyndromal Depression

When you suffer from a subsyndromal depression, it means that the symptoms are not enough for a diagnosis. During this kind of depression, you have two symptoms, rather than the required five that qualifies it as a major depression. To get a diagnosis for this kind of depression, your quality of life should be affected by these symptoms for at least two weeks.

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