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9 Different Types of Depression and Their Symptoms

Different Types of Depression and Their Symptoms

Isn't all depression the same? Not at all. There are different types of depression that vary in intensity.

Here are the 9 most common types of depression you should know about:

1. Major Depression

The most common type of depression is called major or severe depression (also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder (MDD)) which affects about 7 percent of U.S. adults.

A person may only experience one major episode of severe depression during his or her lifetime.

Here are the primary symptoms of major depression:
  • Extreme sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Physical pain
  • Thoughts of suicide
To be diagnosed with severe depression these symptoms must last for at least two weeks.

Treatment for major depression includes antidepressants and psychotherapy (talk therapy).


2. Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)

This is a sort of low-grade depression that tends to be less severe than major depression. Symptoms usually last for a year or more.

It affects about 2 percent of the U.S. population. If not treated, mild depression sufferers may be at risk for developing major depression.

Symptoms of mild depression include:
  • Sadness
  • Trouble with focus and concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Changes in appetite
This depression usually responds better to psychotherapy (talk therapy) than to medications. Although combining medication with talk therapy may lead to the greatest symptom improvement.

People with dysthymia may also be at risk for episodes of major depression.

3. Postpartum Depression

The result of one study claim that 1 out of 7 moms struggle with this form of depression.

Postpartum depression (PPD) symptoms include many of the typical depression symptoms but also include feelings of being disconnected from the baby, fears of hurting the baby and even the desire to do self-harm.

It is important for moms who've recently given birth to be screened for depression so treatment can begin immediately. The odd thing is that postpartum depression can happen weeks to months after childbirth.

  Read also: Postpartum Depression: Baby Blues: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Seasonal Depression

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) with seasonal pattern. The winter months can be brutal on your mental health, for the 6 percent of Americans suffering from SAD will experience feelings of increasing depression, irritability, weight gain, fatigue and even anxiety.

The cause?

Insufficient sunlight due to shorter days during the hard, cold winter months.

Fortunately, symptoms usually lift when spring rolls around. SAD can be treated with light therapy or artificial light treatment.

  Read also: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Symptoms, Causes, Self-care, Treatment

5. Atypical Depression

Atypical Depression may be linked to situational depression meaning depressive symptoms often lighten with improved circumstances.

Atypical depression can often go under diagnosed even though it may be one of the most common forms depression.

Atypical depression symptoms are characterized specifically by heaviness in the arms and legs, oversleeping, overeating, weight gain.

6. Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is a combination of major depressive disorder (major depression) and psychotic symptoms. (Read more on Psychosis)

According to studies, as many as 20 percent of depression sufferers are diagnosed with having hallucinations, seeing and hearing things that aren't there.

This is one of the most severe forms of depression. A combination of talk therapy and anti-psychotic medications are used to treat it.

  Read also: Psychotic Depression: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

7. Bipolar Disorder

If you experience periods of emotional highs followed by deep lows you may have bipolar depression or manic depressive disorder.

A person with bipolar depression may alternate between emotional extremes (mania) and depression a few times a year.

Fortunately, Bipolar depression is entirely manageable.

  Read more on Bipolar Disorder

8. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Women are twice as likely as men experience depression of any type. But thanks to PMDD, a kind of depression that strikes during the second half of a woman's menstrual cycles. An average of 5 percent of women experiences PMDD.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder can totally distrust a woman's ability to function properly in daily life.

  Read also: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis

9. Treatment-Resistant Depression

This frustrating form of depression happens when a sufferer has tried two or more antidepressant meds back to back with no symptom relief. But there are surprising and promising treatment options.

If you suspect that you're depressed get in contact with a mental health care expert to for a complete diagnosis for type and intensity of your depression.

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