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Types of Depression

Types of Depression


Everything you need to know about
Types of Depression

It’s natural to feel down now and then, but if you’re sad all the time and it’s affecting your daily life, you could be suffering from clinical depression. It’s a condition that can be treated with medication, counselling, and lifestyle modifications.

Depression comes in a variety of forms. Some are caused by life events, while others are caused by chemical changes in your brain.

Whatever the source, the first thing you should do is tell your doctor how you’re feeling. They may recommend you to a mental health professional to determine the sort of depression you are experiencing. This diagnosis is critical in determining the best treatment option for you.

Major Depression

Your doctor may refer to this as “major depressive disorder.” If you’re depressed most of the time, most days of the week, you probably have this type.

You may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Loss of enjoyment or interest in your activities
  •  Weight gain or loss
  •  Having trouble sleeping or feeling drowsy during the day
  •  Feeling irritated and restless, or physically and mentally sluggish and slowed down
  •  Being exhausted and drained of energy
  •  Feeling insignificant or sorry
  •  Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  •  Suicidal thoughts

If you have five or more of these symptoms on most days for two weeks or longer, your doctor may diagnose you with serious depression. A low mood or a loss of interest in activities must be at least one of the symptoms.

Major depression manifests itself in various ways in different people. It could be one of the following, depending on how depressed you are:

  • Anxious distress. Most days, you’re tense and restless. You’re having difficulties concentrating because you’re afraid something bad may happen, and you’re afraid you’ll lose control.
  • Melancholy.  You’re depressed and have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy. Even when nice things happen, you feel horrible. You could also:
    • Feel especially depressed in the mornings
    • Reduce your weight
    • Sleeping problems
    • Have suicidal thoughts

With melancholic depression, your symptoms may be worse in the mornings. Consider asking for assistance with your first tasks of the day. Even if you don’t feel hungry, make sure you eat regularly.

  • Agitated. The majority of the time, you are uneasy. You could also:
    • Lots of talking
    • Fidgeting with your hands and pacing around the room are examples of unintentional movement.
    • Make rash decisions.

Talk therapy can be beneficial. You’ll meet with a mental health professional who will assist you in coping with your depression. Antidepressant medications can also be beneficial.

When treatment and medicine aren’t working, your doctor may offer the following:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

Electrical pulses are used in ECT, a special type of magnet is used in TMS, and a device is implanted in VNS. All of them are made to stimulate specific parts of the brain. This improves the performance of the areas of your brain that influence your mood.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent depressive disorder is defined as depression that lasts for at least two years. Previously known as dysthymia (low-grade persistent depression) and chronic severe depression, this word is now used to designate two illnesses.

You may experience the following symptoms:

  • Changes in your dietary habits (not eating enough or overeating)
  • Too much or too little sleep
  • Fatigue or a lack of energy
  • Low self-confidence
  • Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feeling despondent

Psychotherapy, medicine, or a mix of the two may be used to treat you.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar illness, sometimes known as “manic depression,” is characterised by mood swings that vary from high energy and an “up” mood to low energy and a “depressive” mood.

When you’re in a low phase, you’ll have strong depressive symptoms.

Medications can help you manage your mood fluctuations. Your doctor may recommend a mood stabiliser, such as:

  • Lithium
  • Anticonvulsant medicines
  • Antipsychotic medicines

Other medicines, such as the anticonvulsant lamotrigine and the atypical antipsychotic Vraylar, are occasionally prescribed “off label” for bipolar depression.

Traditional antidepressants aren’t always advised as first-line therapies for bipolar depression since studies show that they’re no better than a placebo (a sugar pill) for treating depression in persons with bipolar illness. Additionally, several standard antidepressants may raise the chance of triggering a “high” phase of disease or increasing the frequency of having more episodes over time, in a small number of persons with bipolar disorder.

Psychotherapy can also aid you and your family in their recovery.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of serious depression that occurs most frequently during the winter months, when the days grow shorter and the amount of sunlight available decreases. In the spring and summer, it usually goes away.

Antidepressants can aid people with SAD. Light therapy can also help. You’ll need to spend 15-30 minutes each day in front of a very bright lightbox.

Psychotic Depression

People with psychotic depression experience major depressive symptoms as well as “psychotic” symptoms, such as:

  • Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there is known as hallucinations.
  • Delusions (false beliefs)
  • Paranoia (wrongly believing that others are trying to harm you)

Psychotic depression can be treated with a combination of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. ECT is also a possibility.

Antenatal Depression

Antenatal or prenatal depression is depression that occurs during pregnancy. Although postnatal depression (depression after the delivery of your baby) is the word most people are familiar with, pregnant mothers can also suffer from depression during their pregnancy.

Depression during pregnancy, like depression at other times, is a condition that may be treated with the correct support and treatment. It’s more serious than a few days of feeling down, concerned, or dissatisfied, with unpleasant emotions and depression symptoms lasting weeks or months.

Postnatal Depression

Many parents experience postnatal depression after having a child.

It’s a prevalent issue that affects more than one out of every ten women within a year of giving birth. It can affect fathers and partners as well.

If you suspect you might be depressed, seek assistance as soon as possible because your symptoms could last months or worsen, wreaking havoc on you, your baby, and your family.

Most people recover completely with the correct support.

Perinatal Depression

Perinatal depression is a mood disorder that can affect pregnant and postpartum women. The term “perinatal” refers to the period before and after a child’s birth. Depression that occurs during pregnancy (prenatal depression) and depression that begins after the baby is born are both classified as perinatal depression (called postpartum depression). Perinatal depression causes great grief, worry, and exhaustion in mothers, making it difficult for them to carry out daily responsibilities such as caring for themselves or others.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

At the start of their period, women with PMDD experience depression and other symptoms.

You may experience the following symptoms in addition to depression:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Concentration issues
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in your appetite or sleeping patterns
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed

PMDD can be treated with antidepressants or, in certain cases, oral contraceptives.

‘Situational’ Depression

In psychiatry, this isn’t a technical term. However, you can be depressed if you’re having problems coping with a severe event in your life, such as a family death, divorce, or job loss. This is known as “stress response syndrome” by your doctor.

Psychotherapy can often assist you in overcoming depression caused by a stressful event.

Atypical Depression

This is distinct from the continuous melancholy associated with ordinary depression. It is regarded as a “specifier” that describes a set of depression symptoms. A happy event can momentarily enhance your mood if you have atypical depression.

Other unusual depressive symptoms include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Feeling of heaviness in your arms and legs
  • Oversensitive to criticism

Antidepressants may be beneficial. As a first-line treatment, your doctor may recommend an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).

They may also suggest an older form of antidepressant known as an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), which is a well-studied class of antidepressants for treating atypical depression.

Treatment Resistant Depression

About a third of patients who are treated for depression try multiple treatments without success. If this describes you, you may be suffering from treatment-resistant depression. There are several reasons why your depression may be resistant to treatment. You could, for example, have other medical issues that make treating depression difficult.

If you’ve been diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression, your doctor may suggest some other treatments. In this case, electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) can be beneficial.