Different Types of Depression: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Depression comes in many different forms. It can be mild or severe, chronic or acute. It can last for a few weeks, or it can last for years. There are many different signs and symptoms of depression, and it can be difficult to diagnose accurately. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of depression and their associated symptoms. If you think that you might be suffering from depression, please see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Types of depression

What is persistent depressive disorder?

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a form of depression that lasts for at least 2 years. It is also known as dysthymia or subsyndromal depression. PDD is characterized by a number of symptoms, including low mood, poor concentration, low energy, and changes in appetite. People with PDD may also experience feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and they may have difficulty sleeping.

While the symptoms of PDD are not as severe as those of major depression, they can still significantly interfere with everyday life. PDD is a relatively common disorder, affecting around 1 in every 200 adults. It is important to seek treatment for persistent depressive disorder, as it can significantly improve quality of life. Treatment usually involves psychological therapy and medication.

What is major depressive disorder (major depression)?

Major depressive disorder, also called major depression, is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy. Major depression can interfere with your ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy life. Major depression is not the same as sadness that's a normal reaction to life events such as the loss of a loved one. It's also not the same as “the blues” or feeling down for a few days.

Major depressive disorder lasts for two weeks or longer and is debilitating. It may occur only once in your lifetime, but more often, it occurs several times in a lifetime. Treatments for major depression are available and can help you manage your symptoms. If you think you may have major depression, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, or manic depression, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They can interfere with a person's ability to work, go to school, and take care of everyday tasks. Bipolar disorder often runs in families, but it can occur in people who have no family history of the condition.

People with bipolar disorder can have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and are able to do more than usual. These are called manic episodes. During these episodes, people may act impulsively and make poor decisions. They may also experience psychotic symptoms during a manic episode, such as hallucinations or delusions.

In contrast, people with bipolar disorder can also have periods of feeling very sad and hopeless, which are called depressive episodes. These episodes look a lot like major depression During these times, people may find it difficult to function normally or take care of themselves. There is no single cause for bipolar disorder, or the mania and major depression that it causes. Rather, it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment for bipolar disorder usually involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy. With treatment, most people with bipolar disorder can manage their symptoms.

What is seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. Although the exact cause of SAD is unknown, it is believed to be related to a disruption in the body's circadian rhythm, which is regulated by exposure to light.

Symptoms of SAD include fatigue, moodiness, difficulty concentrating, and weight gain. SAD can also cause feelings of hopelessness and despair. If you think you might have SAD, it's important to see a doctor or mental health professional for a diagnosis. There are a number of treatment options available, including light therapy, medication, and talk therapy.

With treatment, most people with SAD are able to feel better and function well during the fall and winter months.

What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, also known as PMDD, is a type of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms that typically occur 1-2 weeks before your period starts. These symptoms can include bloating, fatigue, mood swings, irritability, and depression. While PMS affects up to 75% of women of reproductive age, PMDD is much less common, affecting only 2-5% of women.

However, the symptoms of PMDD are usually much more severe than those of PMS. If you have PMDD, you may find that your symptoms make it difficult to function on a day-to-day basis. Treatment for PMDD often includes medication and therapy. If you think you may have PMDD, it’s important to talk to your doctor so that you can get the help you need.

What is psychotic depression?

Psychotic depression is a severe form of clinical depression that is characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms. These can include delusions, hallucinations, or extreme paranoia. In some cases, people with psychotic depression may also experience physical symptoms, such as fatigue or weight loss.

Psychotic depression is a very serious condition that can lead to suicide if left untreated. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.

What is clinical depression?

Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a mental health condition characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, and decreased energy levels. Clinical depression can also cause physical symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, and digestive problems. People with clinical depression may have difficulty concentration, and may also experience thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation.

Although clinical depression is a serious condition that can be debilitating, it is important to remember that it is also highly treatable. With the help of medication, therapy, and support from family and friends, many people with clinical depression are able to manage their symptoms and live happy and fulfilling lives.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a type of depression that can occur after having a baby. It’s normal to feel some sadness and anxiety after giving birth, but postpartum depression is more than that. With postpartum depression, these feelings don’t go away or get better over time. They may even get worse. 

Postpartum depression can happen to anyone, but there are some things that may make it more likely. For example, if you have a history of depression or anxiety, if you had a tough pregnancy, or if you had any problems after your last pregnancy. 

The good news is that postpartum depression is treatable. If you think you might have it, talk to your doctor or another health care provider. They can help figure out what’s going on and create a plan to help you feel better.

Treatments for depression

Talk therapy and medication

Many doctors recommend talk therapy alongside medication for treating major depression or any non-seasonal depression. There are many different treatment options that will help with depression symptoms, and even if you have atypical depression, there may be something to help.

If you're really struggling with a major depressive episode, it may be better to consider a brief inpatient stay.

Light therapy

If your depression is just seasonal affective disorder (SAD), light therapy is a great way to address those depression symptoms. Very often, SAD gives me a depressed mood, but a few days of light therapy can help me keep my depression symptoms at bay.

Final thoughts…

If you think you're struggling with depressive symptoms, which could include mood swings, perpetual sadness, lethargy, and brain fog – reach out to your doctor! Mental health professionals can help you figure out ways to control your depressive symptoms and get your life back.

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