Everyone feels down and sad at times, but depression is when negative feelings are persistent and impact your daily life. Mental health has come a long way in recent years thankfully. Today, depression is one of the most discussed and recognized mental illnesses. But did you know there are actually multiple types of depression? These are the different types of depression people may suffer from.
Major Depression, or major depressive disorder, is what most people think of when they hear “depression”. This type of depression is when people feel depression most of the time for most days of the week. Common symptoms of major depression include loss of interest in activities, weight loss or gain, sleeping too much or too little, feelings of restlessness or agitation, lack of energy, feeling worthless or guilty, trouble concentration, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
If someone has depression that lasts for 2 years or longer, it is persistent depressive disorder. This is a new term used to describe two conditions previously known as dysthymia and chronic major depression. Symptoms for persistent depressive disorder are the same as major depression. The main difference is the length of time a person has been struggling with it.
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression, as people with this condition swing between episodes of extreme highs and episodes of severe lows. During the low phases, people experience the symptoms of major depression. In fact, because of this many people with bipolar disorder incorrectly get diagnosed with depression at first.
Did you know that the outside environment can actually cause depression? Seasonal affective disorder is when individuals experience a period of major depression that typically happens during the winter months. SAD usually goes away during the spring and summer months, when the days are longer and the sun is out more. Many people have SAD, but often mildly. It can be a serious condition though and treatments such as light therapy or antidepressants can help.
Psychotic depression is a form of depression that most people don’t think of when talking about depression. People with psychotic depression experience many of the same symptoms as people with major depression. The main difference is that people with psychotic depression also experience “psychotic” symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
Women’s bodies are truly amazing, especially during pregnancy, labor, and afterward. Postpartum depression has been more widely discussed in recent years, which is great news! Many new mothers experience major depression in the months after giving birth. This form of depression is postpartum depression.
These days, many people make jokes towards women about “PMS” or credit their moodiness to “periods”. These sexist jokes are often untrue, but there is actually a form of depression, PMDD, that lines up with when women start their menstrual cycle. In addition to depressive feelings, women with PMDD may also experience mood swings, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and more.
Atypical depression is, as the name implies, atypical to the persistent sadness of typical depression. This type of depression is called a “specified” that describes a pattern of depressive symptoms. People with atypical depression can often have an improved mood after a positive event. Other symptoms include increased appetite, sleeping more than usual, feeling of heaviness in arms and legs, and oversensitivity to criticism.
If you or someone you love is struggling with any forms of depression, please contact us today!
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.