Types of Depression
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder that is marked by a depressed mood, loss of interest in things that previously interested the person (including sex), and low self-esteem. A person experiencing depression often feels perpetually sad or down and has very little energy to handle the demands of life. They may feel exhausted simply getting out of bed. Alternatively, they may feel agitated or irritable all the time. This is especially true in children and adolescents who are experiencing depression. In addition, people who experience depression seem to ruminate and become overwhelmed with feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, irrational guilt, and a poor image of self. They also tend to have difficulty with concentration and memory. A person with major depression often withdraws from social activities and may experience intense thoughts about dying or suicide.
A person with depression may also experience periods of insomnia or hypersomnia. They may have difficulty eating or may experience either a weight gain or weight loss. They may also experience an increase in physical pain while they are depressed. In addition, a person with depression may experience significant impairment in their ability to function in social, occupational, or school environments. Left untreated, depression can affect every aspect of a person’s life.
Bipolar Depression is a Major Depressive Episode that occurs as part of Bipolar Disorder. Individuals with Bipolar have both Depressive and Manic or Hypomanic episodes. Some people cycle quickly between Depressive and Manic episodes while others cycle more slowly.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
Persistent Depressive Disorder is a less severe, but longer persisting form of depression. A person with dysthymia may have difficulty making decisions, problems concentrating, poor memory recall, guilt, self-criticism, low self-esteem, and pessimism. They may also have self-destructive thinking, feelings of sadness, apathy, hopelessness, helplessness, irritability, quick temper, lack of motivation, social withdrawal, a change in appetite, lack of sexual desire, self-neglect, fatigue, and insomnia.
Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Depression
Seasonal Affective Disorder is not a separate form of depression but instead is a way of describing a major depressive episode that tends to coincide with the change in seasons. Typically the symptoms of depression tend to begin in the fall and winter and decrease in the spring and summer.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a type of depression that is associated with the menstrual cycle. The primary symptoms tend to be lability of mood, anxiety, irritability, dysphoria, difficulty concentrating, lethargy, sleep disturbance, and a sense of being overwhelmed. The symptoms usually begin around the pre-menstrual cycle and decrease once menses begin.
Postpartum Depression is a mood disorder that typically occurs after childbirth. The feelings of depression, sadness and anxiety can be so extreme that it begins to disrupt a woman’s ability to function and care for her family. While the exact causes of postpartum depression are unclear, the combination of hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, physical changes, and emotional stress tend to contribute to the presence of postpartum depression.
Severe Depression and Clinical Depression are not a separate form of depression, but instead are common terms that are often used to describe a Major Depressive Episode.
Chronic Depression is not a separate form of depression, but instead is a common way of describing recurrent episodes of depression. If someone says that they have Chronic Depression, it could mean that they have had multiple occurrences of Major Depressive Episodes or that they have had Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Situational Depression is a common way of describing an Adjustment Disorder. Adjustment Disorders occur when life becomes so challenging that our normal coping mechanisms become overwhelmed. As a result, depression and anxiety may appear and begin to make functioning difficult. Typically, once the stressors and situational issues are resolved, the depression and anxiety decrease.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796. Additional assessment times are available by calling the number above.
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