Defining depression can be difficult. The symptoms vary from person to person and it can be hard to differentiate between occasional feelings of sadness and clinical depression. Typically depression is considered a mental health disorder once it lasts longer than two weeks and is severe enough to impact your daily life. There isn’t only one form of clinical depression though, something that is not well know. So we’ve outlined the most common types of depression and their various depression symptoms.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is when someone feels depressed most of the time for most of the week. Major depression has a variety of symptoms that impact someone’s ability to eat, sleep, work and enjoy life in general. Some people with major depression only experience one episode but for most episodes appear throughout their life. There are multiple symptoms of this disorder but the most common ones are prolonged feelings of anxiety, sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, guilt and worthlessness. Decreased energy, loss of pleasure and interest in hobbies and a change in usual sleeping and eating habits are also signs of depression. Physical symptoms such as headaches and chronic pain that don’t respond to normal treatment can also be a sign of major depression. Thoughts of suicide and death are the most severe symptoms and can lead to suicide so seek help immediately if you experience this or any of the other symptoms.
Persistent Depressive Disorder is when depression lasts for more than two years. It covers two other conditions, dysthymia (low-grade persistent depression) and chronic major depression. Symptoms include too little or too much sleep, change in appetite, hopelessness, low self-esteem and lack of energy.
Bipolar Disorder is commonly known but many people often forget that it’s a form of depression. Bipolar disorder is also known as “manic depression” and people who suffer from it have extreme moods changes that range from episodes of high energy and happiness to the sink lows of depression. In the low phase, all the symptoms of major depression appear. These mood swings can happen rapidly or gradually and periods of normal emotion are common between the manic ups and the depressive downs.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, often appropriately abbreviated to SAD, is a period of depression that usually happens in the winter months. A lack of sunlight is the cause of this and SAD typically goes away during the spring and summer months. A lot of people are actually affected by Season Affective Disorder to some degree but for some, it becomes more serious and the need of antidepressants and light treatment is necessary.
Psychotic Depression is a severe form of depression where forms of psychosis happen alongside typical depression symptoms. These psychotic symptoms included hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that aren’t really there), delusions (false beliefs) or paranoia.
Postpartum Depression occurs after a woman has given birth and can last weeks or months after that. Most woman experience typical “baby blues” the first two weeks after birth as they adjust to the new life and stress of a baby. Postpartum Depression is much more serious though as it interferes with a woman’s daily life. It often impacts a mother’s ability to bond and take care of her new child.
While many of the symptoms are the same for each type, the disorders can be very different and get an accurate diagnosis is key to receiving proper treatment. If you or anyone you know might be suffering from any form of depression, our Delray Beach depression treatment clinic can help. Contact us for an appointment.