Depression is a serious mental health condition that can have a significant impact on a person's life. It can range from mild to severe, and can manifest in different forms. The most common types of depression include Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), Bipolar Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Psychotic Depression, Peripartum Depression, Atypical Depression, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), Dysthymia, Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Situational Depression. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the most common type of depression.
It is characterized by five or more symptoms that last for two weeks or more, including a depressed mood or loss of interest in activities. People with MDD may also experience changes in appetite, sleep patterns, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and thoughts of death or suicide. Traditional antidepressants are not always recommended as first-line treatments for MDD because there is no evidence that they are more effective than a placebo. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) is a form of depression that lasts for two years or more.
It was formerly known as dysthymia and chronic major depression. People with PDD may experience symptoms similar to those of MDD, but they are usually less severe and last longer. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by extreme mood episodes that range from high-energy highs to low depressive periods. When in the low phase, people with bipolar disorder will experience symptoms of major depression.
Some traditional antidepressants may increase the risk of causing a high phase of the disease or speed up the frequency of having more episodes over time. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of major depression that occurs most often during the winter months when days get shorter and sunlight decreases. It usually disappears in spring and summer. Antidepressant medications may help treat SAD in a similar way to treating MDD that is not related to seasonal changes.
Psychotic depression is characterized by symptoms of major depression combined with psychotic features such as delusions or hallucinations. A combination of antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs can treat psychotic depression, and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) may also be an option. Peripartum depression is a type of major depression that occurs in the weeks and months after childbirth. About 1 in 10 men also experience depression in the peripartum period.
Antidepressant medications may help treat this type of depression in a similar way to treating MDD that is not related to childbirth. Atypical depression is characterized by symptoms such as increased appetite or weight gain, excessive sleepiness, sensitivity to rejection, and feeling heavy in the arms or legs. People with atypical depression may respond better to a type of antidepressant known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI).Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a type of depression that affects about 2 percent of women who are menstruating. Symptoms tend to start around the first stage of the menstrual cycle and usually end soon after menstruation begins. Dysthymia, also known as persistent depressive disorder, is a long-term form of depression that lasts for years and can interfere with daily life, work, and relationships. Postpartum Depression (PPD) is more than just postpartum melancholy - it affects up to 16 percent of women who have recently given birth. Antidepressant medications may help treat PPD in a similar way to treating MDD that is not related to childbirth. Situational depression is a type of adjustment disorder that arises from a person's struggle to accept changes that have occurred in their life.
It usually responds better to psychotherapy than medications.