The term “depression” is sometimes used as a “catch-all” term. But there are many different forms of depression, and each one has different symptoms, signs, and causes. So in this guide from Dr. Quintal & Associates Counseling Center, we’ll discuss the 7 most common types of depression, and what you need to know about each one.
1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, is what is meant when most people refer to “clinical depression.” This mood disorder is characterized by a lot of different symptoms, including a depressed mood, lack of interest in hobbies and other activities, fatigue, changes in eating and sleeping habits, problems concentrating, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide and death.
If these issues persist for more than 2 weeks, a person will typically be diagnosed with MDD by a mental health professional. Major depressive episodes usually last a few months, but may recur frequently in affected individuals.
2. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
This is a type of MDD that refers to chronic depression. A person who is depressed for more days than they are not depressed over a two-year period may be diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder. A person may be diagnosed with PDD that’s mild, moderate, or severe. Negative symptoms are usually less pronounced than in MDD, but are usually very pervasive and long-lasting.
3. Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
This is a mood disorder characterized by periods of high energy, elevated mood, and happiness (mania) contrasted with periods of low energy, fatigue, hopelessness, and depressed mood (depression).
Most people with bipolar disorder experience periodic episodes of MDD, but the extent of both mania and depression vary quite a bit depending on the person.
4. Postpartum Depression (PPD)
Postpartum depression is classified as a type of depression that persists more than two weeks after a woman gives birth to a child. It can be brought about due to significant hormonal shifts that occur during pregnancy.
The symptoms of PPD vary from MDD and PDD, and usually include social withdrawal, severe mood swings, trouble bonding with your baby, thoughts of self-harm or harming your child, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and anxiety or panic attacks.
5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but is more intense and produces more pronounced symptoms. Along with PMS symptoms like anxiety, moodiness, food cravings, and bloating, MPDD may also cause feelings of extreme fatigue or lethargy, irritability, mood swings, severe feelings of stress and anxiety, and feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
This condition is relatively rare. About 3-8% of menstruating women will experience symptoms of PMDD. Symptoms tend to begin around the first stage of the menstrual cycle, and usually end shortly after menstruation starts. However, during this time, PMDD can have serious negative effects on your life.
6. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This is a type of seasonal depression that’s usually experienced in the winter months, and it commonly results in a depressed mood, feelings of sadness, sleepiness and lethargy, and weight gain. However, those who have SAD may feel perfectly normal in warmer months of the spring and summer.
SAD is believed to be caused by changes in the circadian rhythms of the body due to seasonal changes in the length of the day and availability of natural light, and this disruption can lead to depression and other symptoms. Light therapy, which uses light that’s similar in wavelength to the sun, may be used as a treatment.
7. Atypical Depression
Atypical depression is a type of depression that doesn’t follow “typical” medical presentation, hence the name.
In atypical depression, you may notice standard signs of depression like lethargy, oversleeping, or sensitivity to changes in personal relationships, but may also find yourself perking up and feeling better if a positive event happens in your life. This is known as a “reactive mood.”
Unlike other forms of depression, atypical depression can often be treated with MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), a type of antidepressant that usually does not work for other forms of depressive disorders.
Need Help With Depression? Contact Dr. Quintal & Associates Counseling Center
At Dr. Quintal & Associates Counseling Center, we specialize in therapy and counseling for depression and a wide variety of related mental health disorders. If you’d like to learn more about what we do and how counseling may help with depressive disorders, contact us online or give us a call at (941) 907-0525.