Types of Depression
Usually, depression is commonly understood as a strangely fluctuating mental state marked by low feelings, emotional disturbance, and self-attacking or reckless behavior depending upon the severity of the negative thinking patterns. So, it would not be wrong to say that it is a mood disorder that tends to vary in intensity as well as in frequency from one person to another. This indicates that a state of depression is discernible in several forms. So, putting this technically, there are several types of depression that can affect people of different age groups. In this article, let’s explore these different depression types so that it becomes easy to recognize the related symptoms for choosing the most effective treatment.
Types of Depression on the Basis of Cause
Broadly speaking, one can classify the disorder into two groups: depression due to no apparent cause and depression due to a troublesome event that has not been accepted, for instance, somebody’s death, accident, or rapid seasonal changes. If analyzed properly, one can infer that the latter one is a state that can be easily conquered with the help of adequate support and positive approach. However, it is the former one that is quite difficult to tackle because the cause itself is unknown. Let’s now find out the types of depression based on clinical classification.
Major Types of Depression on the Basis of Symptoms
While diagnosing a depressive disorder, a health care professional uses several clinical terms such as bipolar, clinical, unipolar, major, and melancholic. The fact is that most of us fail to realize that these depression types can tend to co-exist at a time due to which it becomes difficult to diagnose them. However, each of these types has their own set of unique symptoms. So, let’s check out the major depression types along with their essential symptoms.
Major Depression: One of the Severe Types of Depression
Also known as clinical depression, this depression type is marked by an episode of constant mood changes lasting for months or even years if not diagnosed on time. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) describes this depressive disorder as a group of symptoms disrupting a person’s ability to sleep, work, eat, study, and take pleasure in the most loved activities. So, it unique symptoms are loss of interest, irritable mood due to a feeling of hopelessness, and even suicidal thoughts or attempts for feeling worthless. The latter is more common among men because males are more reluctant to accept and share. So, depression in men has increased the number of deaths due to suicide.
A spell of these symptoms can be experienced either once or repeatedly over the years. Major depression can affect anybody at any point of time.
Psychotic Depression: One of the Complex Types of Depression
This is a state marked by the simultaneous existence of hallucinations or delusions and depressed mood. If such a spell is experienced repeatedly, it can take such a severe form that the affected person can lose the touch with reality. Generally, this loss is attributed to the imbalanced dopamine activity in the brain. Again, psychotic depression can affect anybody including kids, leading to complex childhood depression that needs instant medical care.
Bipolar or Manic Depressive Disorder: One of the Most Fluctuating Types of Depression
This is actually the most extreme form of depression wherein a depressive episode is generally severe as well as most fluctuating. It is extreme in the sense the depressed tends to experience alternating episodes of intense euphoria called mania and lowest mood of feeling very low. So, at one point of time, the depressed person shows the signs of being overjoyed, while at the next moment, she/he tends to be the most depressed individual in the world. Because the episode tends to oscillate between the lowest pole of depression and highest pole of elation, it is called bipolar depression. If a childhood depression is marked by this extreme condition, know that your child is need of instant medical care.
Chronic Depression or Dysthymia or Melancholy: One of the Less Severe Types of Depression
As compared to major, chronic, and psychotic depression, this is a less severe form but tends to last for a long time often running into years. Although such depression makes one feel feeling fairly normal between the low-mood episodes, its symptoms do not totally interfere or disrupt the normal activities.
Seasonal Depression: One of the Easily Predictable Types of Depression
Also referred to as the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter blues, this depression hits only during a particular season of the year, which is mostly winter. This depression occurs because of the dull weather owing to lower number of daylight hours. There is no doubt that it is predictable easily, but it can exist in a very severe form in some people, especially women.
Postpartum Depression: One of the Common Types of Depression in Women
According to a survey, more than 70% of new mothers suffer from normal depression but one in every 10 of them suffers from a more grave state called postpartum depression within a month after delivery.
Cyclothymic Disorder: One of the Milder Types of Depression
This can be considered as a milder form of bipolar depression. It is a kind of manic depression that features a symptom of hypomania (mild mania).
These are some major types of depression that tend to affect kids, teens, and adults.