Depression is a group of conditions associated with a person's elevated or decreased mood, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, psychotic depression, peripartum depression, and postpartum depression. Each type of depression has its own unique set of symptoms and treatments. In this article, we'll explore the different types of depression and how to identify them. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a state in which a dark mood consumes everything and you lose interest in activities, even those that are usually pleasurable. Symptoms of this type of depression include difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, loss of energy, and feeling worthless.
Thoughts of death or suicide may occur. It is usually treated with psychotherapy and medication. For some people with severe depression that is not relieved by psychotherapy or antidepressant medications, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be effective. Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is depression that lasts 2 years or more. People may also refer to this as dysthymia or chronic depression.
Persistent depression may not feel as intense as major depression, but it can still strain relationships and make daily tasks difficult. Persistent depression lasts for years in a row, so people with this type of depression may begin to feel that their symptoms are only part of their normal view of life. Bipolar disorder is a type of depression in which a patient oscillates between periods of abnormally elevated mood (mania) and depressive episodes. Since bipolar disorder includes periods of mania as well as depression, treatment is different from MDD, which does not include mania. This helps prevent the intense ups and downs associated with bipolar disorder.
Talk therapy can also help you recognize what triggers mania and depression and help you better manage your symptoms. Medicines may not work for some people with psychotic depression. Therefore transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is sometimes recommended. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a period of major depression that occurs most often during the winter months, when days get shorter and you get less and less sunlight. It usually disappears in spring and summer. Peripartum depression affects some mothers after childbirth.
You may have heard it called “postpartum melancholy”, although it is more serious than sadness. Not only is depression difficult to endure, it is also a risk factor for heart disease and dementia. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is similar to perinatal depression in that it may be related to hormonal changes. Your symptoms often start right after ovulation and begin to subside once you have your period. Situational depression, or adjustment disorder with depressed mood, resembles major depression in many ways. It occurs when someone experiences a traumatic event or life change that causes them to become depressed. No matter what type of depression you are experiencing, it's important to seek help from a mental health professional if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks.
With the right treatment plan, you can manage your symptoms and live a healthy life.