Types of Depression



There are several different types of depression. I’ve got a number of them listed on the board here. The distinguishing features are symptoms, the severity of the symptoms and the duration of how long they last. Three of them that are categorized by the DSM, which is the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, an American Psychiatric Association publication – three of them are the Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthemic Disorder and Manic Depression. Major Depressive Disorder, also known as major depression or clinical depression have symptoms that last for most of the day nearly every day for at least two weeks and it must have a number of additional symptoms such as significant weight loss, difficulty in sleeping, difficulty thinking, excessive feelings of guilt. Dysthemic Disorder refers to a nearly constant depressed mood for at least two years with additional symptoms such as eating problems, sleeping problems, low energy, fatigue, low self esteem. Manic Depression includes period of mania and depression and there’s a cycling between these two states that is an identifying mark of this type of depression. There’s manic episodes where there’s inflated self esteem, decreased need for sleep, easily distracted, someone that’s more talkative than usual characterizes this type of depression. Other types of depression – you have Post Partum Depression. This is very common in women after they give birth, usually within four weeks of giving birth and varying in duration and severity. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, and is a seasonal disorder that reoccurs at a specific time of the year. Seasonal is the key word there. Typically this would be in the fall or winter which can be drearier months of the year. Anxiety depression is not an official depression type as defined by the DSM but anxiety is often occurring at the same time as depression with someone and a depressed individual that exhibits lots of anxious symptoms may be diagnosed with this. Atypical depression which is a subtype of the Major Depressive Disorder is characterized by a temporary improvement in mood and reactive to positive events in addition with other symptoms such as weight gain, over sleeping, a heavy feeling in arms and legs and a sensitivity to rejection. Chronic Depression is a major depressive episode that lasts for at least two years. Here we’ve got Double Depression which is someone that has Dysthemia which is chronic mild depression and also experiences a major depressive episode, more severe depressive symptoms lasting at least two weeks. Endogenous Depression – endogenous means from within the body – and this type of depression is feeling depressed for no apparent reason. So it’s not an external thing. It’s considered to be endogenous. Situational or reactive depression also known as Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood. This develops in response to a particularly stressful situation or when someone is reacting to something, typically a relationship, problems at work or school. It does not meet the criteria for a Major Depressive Disorder and it’s something that – as given in the name – is situational. Agitated Depression is a kind of Major Depressive Disorder characterized with physical, emotional, restlessness, irritability, insomnia which is the opposite of many depressed individuals who have low energy and feel slowed down physically or mentally. Psychotic Depression is a Major Depressive episode with psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions. Melancholic Depression involves a loss of pleasure in virtually all activities or mood and mood does not temporarily improve in response to a positive event. So if something good happens to the person, you think they should be more upbeat. Someone who is suffering from Melancholic Depression would not experience that. Catatonic Depression is another subtype of a Major Depressive Disorder, as many of these are, and is characterized with a loss of voluntary movement, an inability to react to one’s environment. You think of someone that’s catatonic and they’re not responding to an environment or a stimulus and they have extreme resistance to instructions or suggestions and they may be unwilling to speak. Those would be symptoms of Catatonic Depression. So as you can see, there’s a lot of different forms of depression. You have the three major categories here. Many of these fall under a Major Depressive Disorder characterization and these are all important to understand and to know the differences of what can lead to each of these.

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Last updated: 07/25/2017
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