The Different Types of Depression

The Different Types of Depression

Depression is much more than just feeling sad. It comes in various forms and can have adverse effects when it’s left untreated. In this article, we’re going to tell you what the different types of depression are and also, how you can get help for yourself or a loved one.

Major Depression (Major Depressive Disorder)

Major depression can be defined as a set of symptoms that affects an individual’s ability to complete their important daily essentials, responsibilities and activities that last for longer than 2 weeks. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), they diagnose a major depressive disorder when an individual experiences a minimum of five of the following symptoms:

1. Depressed mood most of the day.
2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities.
3. Significant unintentional weight loss or gain.
4. Insomnia or sleeping too much.
5. Agitation or psychomotor retardation noticed by others.
6. Fatigue or loss of energy.
7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness.
9. Recurrent thoughts of death

If you are able to link more than five of the above to yourself or a loved one, then it’s a clear sign that there may be a problem present.

Dysthymia (Dysthymic Disorder)

Dysthymia is a long term mental condition, in which the symptoms may have lasted for 2 years or longer. While the symptoms of dysthymia aren’t as harsh, it has the ability to affect how an individual normally functions. In fact, those suffering with this illness might have already experienced an episode of major depression.

Minor Depression

Minor depression can be defined as having symptoms for two weeks or longer that simply do not meet the diagnostic requirements of major depression. However, should it be left untreated, the chances are high that it could develop into major depression.

Bipolar Disorder

Also known as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar is characterized by sudden mood changes, which can go from feeling extremely happy to being very sad, usually for no reason whatsoever. Bipolar disorder isn’t as common as depression and even though various research was conducted to find out the cause of it, nothing has been singled out as of yet. However, with the right treatment, those suffering from bipolar disorder can learn how to effectively manage their constant mood changes.

Other Types of Depression

Psychotic depression –This happens when someone has very bad depression symptoms, which are usually coupled with psychosis, causing a warped sense of reality and the individual may even begin to experience hallucinations or delusion. Postpartum Depression – After a woman gives birth, their bodies will go through hormonal and physical changes, which can be tough to adapt to. Throw in the new found responsibility of caring for a newborn baby and things can get a bit too much. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – This form of depression usually occurs in the winter months, where there is a lack of sunlight, unlike in the summertime.

When spring or summer arrives, the individual’s mood will eventually begin to lift. In some cases, light therapy is used to treat it; however medication and psychotherapy are also effective in lessening its effects. If you suspect that you or a loved one could be suffering from any of the types of depression mentioned above, we want to help. We provide access to the best private depression clinics in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand.

Call us now and let one of our counsellors find the right treatment for you or a loved one.

Scroll to top