Are You Familiar with Different Types of Depression?

November 12, 2012

Are You Familiar with Different Types of Depression?

The types of depression are formally defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of mental Disorders (DSM). First we’ll take a look at 3 common forms that are classified based on specific features, period of time the depression lasts and how severe it is. These common forms include: Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder and Manic Depression. These forms of depression often cause inability to work and build relationships and create a fair amount stress. These specific forms are also said not to be a product of any medical conditions or drug usage.

The first type of depression is known as Major Depressive disorder or Clinical Depression. The basic features of Clinical Depression involve a depressed mood or general lack of interest in anything that goes on for at least 2 weeks and occurs through out the day. Generally, there are at least 4 other symptoms that can be observed that include: insomnia or over sleeping, malaise, weight loss, guilt complex or feeling of uselessness, thoughts of suicide or enacting suicide and/or the inability to make decisions.

The second type of depression is referred to as Dysthymic Disorder where your depressed mood has been around for two years. Specific behaviors associated with this include: changes in eating habits whether an increase or decrease, insomnia or excess sleeping, malaise, feelings of inferiority, feeling helpless and again difficulty in making decisions. Only two of these symptoms need be present to an individual to be classified with Dysthymia but all may be present. This type of depression is definitely continuing but certainly not as severe as Manic Depression.

Thirdly, the most severe of the 3 types of common depression is known as Manic Depression also called Bipolar Disorder. This involves mood swings between mania and depression. There will be times when the mood is severely depressed and other times when the mood is extremely elevated. These mood swings can last for a week or so. Other symptoms associated with this form include: increased self-esteem, excessive communication, distraction, racing thoughts, excessive behaviors in work or relationships and/or risky behaviors such as sexual interactions and shopping sprees. These behaviors may be accompanied by hallucinations and/or delusions. Some individuals may require medical attention in terms of hospitalization to protect them from themselves or potentially doing harm to others.

Other types of depression have specific labels and are dependent on certain experiences and may go away on their own but in some cases require medical intervention. One well known type of depression for women is Post Partum Depression and of course this can occur after giving birth. Many individuals who live in cold climates that have dark winters often experience Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD). This generally only occurs during the winter months when there is excessive release of melatonin in the brain that prepares you for sleep. Best remedy is to sit under a full spectrum light source and stop the release of melatonin to bring you alive again and remove your depression. Another type of depression that is common is called Situation Depression (Reactive Depression). This happens when an individual has been exposed to something stressful and they react to it by becoming depressed. This generally goes away several months later when the trauma has subsided and they move on.

Treatment of different types of depression require a proper diagnosis by a licensed professional and may require the use of antidepressants and psychotherapy. Only your healthcare provider can do this. Do not try to self medicate as that can do more harm than good.

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