Types Of Depression


Ruler's of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Depression is a form of what is known as a mood or affective, disorder, because it is primarily concerned with a change in mood. Everyone feels sad from time to time, but depression is an illness characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. One in four women and one in six men will suffer from depression at some point in their lives.

Depressive disorders come in different types, just as is the case with other illnesses such as heart disease. Depression is a complicated illness, which can involve a number of contributing factors - genes, environment, diet, lifestyle, brain chemicals, psychology and personality. When a psychiatrist makes a diagnosis of a patient's depressive illness, he or she may use a number of terms--such as bipolar, clinical, endogenous, major, melancholic, seasonal affective or unipolar--to describe it.

Atypical Depression:

Atypical depression is a type of depression that overwhelms an individual almost to the point of emotional paralysis. The name atypical depression comes from the fact that many of its symptoms are opposite to those of some severe depressions. For example people with atypical depression tend to overeat and oversleep. In contrast, people with depression can't eat or sleep. People with atypical depression are externally validated. They feel good when people give them positive compliments and they feel bad when someone criticizes them. Their moods change and shift as quickly as the wind depending if they are isolated and lonely or with a group of friends enjoying a night out on the town.

Bipolar Depression:

This depression is a mood disorder with manic episodes. Bipolar disorder normally begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. Consequently, those who have it may suffer needlessly for years without treatment. This illness can be effectively treated and must be as it is very serious. Without treatment, marital breakups, job loss, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide may result from the chronic, episodic mood swings. This is a serious judgment problem. As the manic episode progresses, concentration becomes difficult, thinking becomes more grandiose, and problems develop. Many individuals with bipolar disorder abuse drugs or alcohol during manic episodes, and some of these develop secondary substance abuse problems.

Cyclothymic Disorder:

Cyclothymic disorder is when a person has mild and alternating mood swings of elation and depression occurring over a long time period. Because the mood swings are mild, and the elation is often enjoyable, frequently people with cyclothymic disorder do not seek medical help. The periods of elation and depression can last for lengthy periods, such as a few months. Often, a person with cyclothymic disorder has a relative with bipolar disorder, or they may develop bipolar disorder themselves.

Dysthymia Depression:

The Greek word dysthymia means "bad state of mind" or "ill humor." As one of the two chief forms of clinical depression, it usually has fewer or less serious symptoms than major depression but lasts longer. Dysthymia refers to a prevalent form of sub threshold depressive pathology with gloominess, anhedonia, low drive and energy, low self-esteem and pessimistic outlook. Although co-morbidity with panic, social phobic and alcohol use disorders has been described, the most significant association is with major depressive episodes. Dysthymia and major depression naturally have many symptoms in common, including depressed mood, disturbed sleep, low energy, and poor concentration. Like major depression, it is more common in women than in men, but it tends to arise earlier in life.

Major Depression:

Major depression is a serious medical illness. Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, major depression is persistent and can significantly interfere with an individual's thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health. Approximately twice as many women as men suffer from major depression. This is partially because of hormonal changes throughout a woman's life: During menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage and menopause.. Major depression, also known as clinical depression or unipolar depression, is only one type of depressive disorder.

Postpartum Depression:

A rare form of depression occurring in women within approximately one week to six months after giving birth to a child. After pregnancy, hormonal changes in a woman's body may trigger symptoms of depression. Tiredness, problems sleeping, stronger emotional reactions, and changes in body weight may occur during pregnancy and after pregnancy. But these symptoms may also be signs of depression. Researchers think the fast change in hormone levels may lead to depression, just as smaller changes in hormones can affect a woman's moods before she gets her menstrual period.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:

This is an uncommon type of depression affecting a small percentage of menstruating women. It refers to the variation of physical and mood symptoms that appear during the last one or two weeks of the menstrual cycle and disappear by the end of a full flow of menses. It is a cyclical condition in which women may feel depressed and irritable for one or two weeks before their menstrual period each month. If you have unpleasant, disturbing emotional and physical symptoms before your monthly menstrual periods and these symptoms disrupt your life and interfere with your usual activities and your relationships with others and the symptoms go away when your flow begins or shortly thereafter, only to return before your next period then this condition is known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Psychotic Depression:

This is a more serious form of depression which is frequently seen by psychiatrists though it is rather rare, compared to the wider context of general medical practice. Patients may develop beliefs about themselves and the world, which are false at times bizarrely and obviously so. Psychotic depression has a very low spontaneous remission rate. It responds only to physical treatments (such as antidepressant drugs).

The defining features of psychotic depression are:

  • More severely depressed mood
  • More severe psychomotor disturbance than is the case with melancholic depression
  • Psychotic symptoms like either delusions or hallucinations and over-valued guilt ruminations.


Ruler's of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Other types of Depression are:

There are several different types of depression. Often they are distinguished by their prevalent features, duration and severity of symptoms.

Agitated Depression:

Kind of major depressive disorder which is characterized by agitation such as physical and emotional restlessness, irritability and insomnia, which is the opposite of many depressed individuals who have low energy and feel, slowed down physically and mentally.

Anxiety Depression:

Not an official depression type. However, anxiety often also occurs with depression. In this case, a depressed individual may also experience anxiety symptoms (e.g. panic attacks) or an anxiety disorder (e.g. PTSD, panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder).

Catatonic Depression:

It is also a sub-type of Major Depressive Disorder. This type of depression is characterized by at least two of the following:

  • Excessive movement (purposeless and not in response to one's environment)
  • Extreme resistance to instructions/suggestions or unable/unwilling to speak
  • Involuntarily repeating someone's words or movements in a meaningless way
  • Loss of voluntary movement and inability to react to one's environment
Chronic Depression:

Major depressive episode that lasts for at least two years.

Double Depression:

Someone who has Dysthymia (chronic mild depression) and also experiences a major depressive episode (more severe depressive symptoms lasting at least two weeks). See above for definitions of these two categories of depression.

Endogenous Depression:

Endogenous means from within the body. This type of depression is defined as feeling depressed for no apparent reason.

Melancholic Depression:

It is a sub-type of Major Depressive Disorder. The main features of this kind of depression include either a loss of pleasure in virtually all activities or mood does not temporarily improve in response to a positive event.

Non-melancholic Depression:

'Non-melancholic depression' essentially means that the depression is not melancholic, or, put simply, not primarily biological. Instead, it has to do with psychological causes, and is very often linked to stressful events in a person's life, alone, or in conjunction with the individual's personality style.

Neurotic Depression:

where psychotic symptoms are absent, but which is accompanied by neurotic symptoms such as anxiety and phobia and some biological symptoms.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):

This condition affects people during specific times or seasons of the year. During the winter months individuals feel depressed and lethargic, but during other months their moods may be normal.

Single Episode Depression:

This describes depression in terms of its frequency. Single episode depression describes those cases where patients experience only one episode of depression and remain 'normal' thereafter.

Recurrent Episode Depression:

This describes depression in terms of its frequency. Recurrent depression describes the situation where a patient experiences two or more episodes of depression, separated by at least 2 months of essentially 'normal' function.

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