What are the Most Common Types of Depression?

There are many different types of depression, and treatment varies for different types. Here, you will learn about the most common types of depression and their symptoms.

10 Types of Depression
What are the Most Common Types of Depression?

10 Different Types of Depression and Their Symptoms

After reading this article, you will be able to recognize the 10 different types of depression and their symptoms.

Understanding Depression

Depression is an illness of the soul and the body. Depression affects a person's daily life; his thoughts, behavior, motivation, feelings, and sense of well-being and can lead to many emotional and physical problems.

Usually, people with depression are unable to continue their daily lives as usual, as depression causes them to feel a lack of any desire to live.

It should be noted that depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world.

The direct underlying cause of depression is still not entirely clear, but there are many factors and causes that may play a role in its appearance. Sometimes symptoms of depression may be triggered by the presence of more than one factor together at the same time.

The symptoms and signs that appear on a person with depression vary according to many factors: such as age, gender, and cultural background. For example, younger children may have difficulty expressing feelings of depression, so you find the child in this case more irritable or complaining of some physical symptoms.

Adolescents may also be seen to be rebellious, drop out of school, isolate socially, or increase their risky behavior.

Depression is difficult to notice in older people as it is usually believed that their symptoms are due to advanced age or other health disorders.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of depressive disorder and their symptoms.

Types of Depression

There are many types of depression that differ according to the circumstance and the cause, some of which last for a short period and the other for a long period of time.

Some depression types appear as a result of a hormone change and the other results from a change in the weather.

It is important to know the different types of depression, as this knowledge helps to build a complete perception when consulting a doctor to diagnose the disorder.

Here are 10 different types of depression, including:

1. Major Depression

Major depression (also known as major depressive disorder, clinical depression, or unipolar depression) is a mental disorder characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or a lack of interest in stimuli, causing significant impairment in daily life.

People with this type of depression experience symptoms most of the days, nearly every day of the week.

The following are the most important symptoms associated with major depression:

  • Loss of interest and pleasure in carrying out daily activities.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Feeling nervous and anxious, or constant worry.
  • Feeling lethargic or lazy, both physically and mentally.
  • Feeling sick, tired, and losing energy.
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness and accompanied by a feeling of guilt.
  • Having unexplained aches and pains.
  • Having thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide
  • Lack of concentration, memory problems, and inability to make decisions.

A doctor diagnoses a patient with major depression if he or she has had five or more of the above symptoms on most days for two or more consecutive weeks. One of these symptoms that should be present is feeling depressed and losing interest in daily activities.

It is recommended to see a specialized psychiatrist and talk about the problem. The psychiatrist may prescribe the appropriate treatment for each case.

2. Persistent Depression

Persistent depression (also called a persistent depressive disorder, dysthymia, or chronic depression) is a mild but long-term (chronic) form of depression that may cause you to feel hopeless and inadequate, lose interest in life, lack productivity, and have low self-esteem.

The persistent depressive disorder occurs for at least two years, along with at least two other symptoms of depression. The severity of this disorder varies from mild to moderate or severe.

Patients with persistent depression may get rid of depressive symptoms, but for simple periods not exceeding two months, and the symptoms are less severe than a major depressive disorder. 

The following are the most important symptoms that a patient with persistent depressive disorder suffers from:

  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Loss of self-confidence or feelings of inadequacy
  • Difficulty functioning at school or work
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping for long hours.
  • Inability to feel joy, even on happy occasions
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Social withdrawal and feeling guilty.
  • Fatigue and loss of energy.
  • Deep sadness or hopelessness.
  • Appetite changes and changes in eating patterns.

Your doctor may decide on appropriate treatment, which includes both depression medications and psychotherapy.

3. Manic Depression

Manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder or manic depressive illness) is a mental disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

The patient with the manic depressive disorder experiences unusual shifts in mood and changes in sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior. 

In severe cases, episodes can include delusions and hallucinations. The patients may also have mixed episodes in which they have symptoms of both mania and depression.

Bipolar disorder can affect a person's life so greatly that he needs to be hospitalized as he loses his connection with reality completely.

In addition to feeling depressed and sad, the patients with manic depression may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities
  • Loss of hope and lack of self-confidence.
  • Feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Fatigue and insomnia.
  • Confusion and lack of organization.
  • Pain for no reason.
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts or grandiose thinking.
  • Racing thoughts and speech
  • Unusual, risky, and self-destructive behavior

It is recommended to see a doctor when sick, as these people are 15 times more likely to commit suicide than normal people.

Treatment for bipolar disorder or manic depression is usually lifelong and often includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

4. Seasonal Depression

Seasonal depression (also called seasonal affective disorder or major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern)  is one of the different types of depression that affects people in certain seasons of the year, such as: winter, where a person suffers from this type of depression due to shorter periods of day and exposure to sunlight at a lower rate so that a person gets rid of seasonal affective disorder in the spring and summer.

In severe cases, people with seasonal affective disorder may have suicidal thoughts.

In general, there are two types of seasonal depression or SAD: winter depression and summer depression.

The symptoms of wintertime SAD may include:

  • Lack of interest in social activities
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weight gain
  • increased irritability
  • Unhappiness
  • lethargy
  • Reduced sexual interest

The symptoms of summertime SAD may include:

Depression medications help treat this type of depression. Seasonal depression may be related to changes in body rhythms in response to the increase in natural light. Some doctors show patients a dedicated light for 15-30 minutes a day.

5. Situational Depression

Situational depression (Also known as adjustment disorder with depressed mood) is a short-term, stress-related type of depression. 

Situational depression occurs as a result of exposure to certain situations and or series of events that cause severe feelings of depression and sadness, such as the death of a loved one, separation, or a serious illness.

Situational depression continues with you for long periods of up to 3 months and interferes with the events of your daily life and it can make it hard for you to adjust to your everyday life. It’s also known as reactive depression.

Symptoms of situational depression may vary from person to person. Common symptoms of situational depression may include:

  • Lack of enjoyment in normal activities
  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Feeling overwhelmed and regular crying
  • Constant worrying or feeling anxious or stressed out
  • Trouble focusing and sleeping difficulties
  • Disinterest in food and appetite changes
  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Avoiding social situations and interaction
  • Suicidal thoughts or trying to attempt suicide

If your symptoms are making it difficult for you to take on daily responsibilities and activities, you should see a doctor. Treatment can help you cope better with stressful events, and treatment options may include medication and psychotherapy.

6. Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is a subtype of major depression similar to acute depression with forms of psychosis. 

Psychosis may be hallucinations, such as hearing a voice telling you that you are not good or that you are worthless or delusions such as intense feelings of worthlessness, failure, sin or dissociation from reality.

People with psychotic depression have thev following symptoms:

  • Exhaustion and sleep disturbances
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Irritability, impulsivity, or risky behavior, substance abuse, or misplaced anger
  • Difficulty concentrating and a lack of awareness of the world around
  • Losing contact with reality
  • Feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing
  • Loss of interest in self and activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts

It is possible to treat psychotic depression and control its symptoms, but this depends first and foremost on the diagnosis and how bad the condition is. There are three ways to treat psychotic depression: Pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy and psychotherapy.

7. Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is the condition that occurs when you feel depressed after you have given birth to a baby. Sometimes, there may be an obvious reason for this, and there are often no reasons why it can be especially distressing, at a time when you have been eagerly anticipating your baby's coming during the pregnancy months.

Childbirth can be an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. The new mother may feel that her body is changing, that her thoughts are changing and that her mood, too, is changing. These phenomena are known as postpartum depression.

The new mother may may feel guilty about this feeling, or she may even feel like she can't handle being a mother. This feeling may last for weeks or even several months.

The intensity of these feelings is variable, they go away, and 50% - 70% of women who give birth feel them in the period between the 4th and 10th day after childbirth. This is a normal phenomenon, and it is relatively easy to deal with. 

Postpartum psychosis is considered the most dangerous form of this disorder, as depression appears in the form of schizophrenia or manic depressive psychosis, which is known, recently, as bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of postpartum depression usually appear during the first three months after childbirth. This depression, in its symptoms and features, is similar to other depressive states that have nothing to do with pregnancy and childbirth. Symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Indifference and lack of enjoyment
  • Disturbances in appetite and sleep
  • Bad mood
  • Tendency to overexcite
  • Slow, tired and lethargic
  • Lack of self-esteem, guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • If the postpartum depression is deep, there may be signs of suicidal thoughts.

Symptoms of postpartum depression are the most severe and difficult, and include confusion, disorientation and loss of connection with reality, to the extent that the woman in this case may harm herself or her baby.

Mild postpartum depression can be overcomed with better support from family and friends, but more severe depression will need help from your GP, health visitor or, in some cases, you may need the help of mental health of doctors.

8. Premenstrual Depression

Premenstrual depression (Also called premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that may interfere with daily life activities, including work, school, social life, and relationships.

Many women complain of physical, psychological and behavioral symptoms during the menstrual cycle, including the two-week pre-menstrual period, and during this period changes in the body that lead to menstruation begin.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is often confused with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The PMS is a common symptom in 80% of women, but it does not interfere with a woman's life.

As for PMDD, it occurs in 3-9% of women and has symptoms that significantly affect women and hinder the life and daily routine of women in the premenstrual period.

The symptoms of premenstrual depression (or PMDD) usually show up the week before a woman starts her period and last until a few days after it begins. Most of the time the symptoms are severe and exhausting, and they can keep her from daily life activities.

The symptoms of premenstrual depression may include:

  • Feeling angry, nervous and difficulty concentrating.
  • Lack of self-control and conflict with other people
  • Depression or feelings of hopelessness
  • Lack of self-confidence and lack of energy
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Lethargy, lack of energy and inactivity.
  • No interest in daily life activities
  • Changes in appetite similar to a fever.
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, extreme tension and irritability
  • Sleep disturbances (too much or too little)
  • Various physical symptoms such as feeling bloated, headache, joint pain and painful changes in the breast.

The treatment of PMDD depends on the interest in healthy eating, sports, and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, and avoiding drinks such as coffee and caffeine because they hinder the body from absorbing some important vitamins for the body.

For women with severe symptoms of PMDD, there are drugs that include antidepressants.

The most important thing for a woman to do is to help herself, whether by changing her diet or taking vitamins or consulting her doctor if the symptoms affect her psyche and behavior and are reflected on those around her, especially her children.

9. Atypical Depression

Atypical depression (also called major depression with atypical features) is a specific type of depression that temporarily goes away in response to positive events.

Atypical depression is not a strange mental illness because there is a large percentage of people around the world suffering from this type of depression and it is widely spread.

The APA no longer recognizes atypical depression as a separate disorder. Instead, this condition is now called major depression with atypical features.

This type differs from traditional depression and persistent sadness, as a person with this type can respond to happy events in a positive way. 

Atypical depression has a clear and strong impact on the patient’s life, so you can notice a change in the individual’s behavior, way of thinking, tendencies and desires, which leads to social, emotional, physical and psychological problems.

The following are some of the symptoms associated with atypical depression:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Anxiety, tension or irritability
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Heavy feeling in the arms or legs
  • Disordered eating
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Feelings of rejection and sensitivity to criticism
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Poor body image
  • Assorted aches and pains
  • Suicidal ideation or talk of suicide

The treatment of atypical depression requires prescribing chemotherapy and psychotherapy for the patient, which requires him to follow the instructions well until recovery is complete.

Chemotherapy can help overcome the acute symptoms of atypical depression and to increase the performance of psychotherapy.

The doctor may also prescribe music therapy, dancing and singing therapy, or speech therapy.

10. Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is a mental condition that usually begins in children or adolescents.
DMDD is characterized by extreme irritability, anger, and frequent, intense temper outbursts. 
DMDD is a fairly new diagnosis, appeared for the first time in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, published in 2013. The DSM-5 classifies DMDD as a type of depression.
Children with DMDD exhibit temper outbursts often caused by feelings of frustration. These feelings are expressed verbally through yelling or cursing, or behaviorally, which could mean assault on property, themselves, or others.
Symptoms of DMDD usually appear before age 10, but cannot be diagnosed before age 6 or after age 18.
The symptoms of DMDD may include:
  • Severe, recurrent temper tantrums. 
  • Outbursts occurring three or more times a week. 
  • Tantrums that are out of proportion to the situation. 
  • Tantrums that are inappropriate for the child's age level. 
  • Irritable and angry moods between tantrums, most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Trouble functioning due to irritability in more than one place.
There is not a great deal of research on the most effective treatments for DMD because it is a new diagnosis. DMDD is often treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. 
Treatments usually depend on what has been helpful for conditions that share some of the same symptoms.

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