Types Of Depression


Staff member
Depression is the most commonly reported psychological disorder in most countries. The person suffering from depression is likely to experience physical symptoms like insomnia, loss of appetite, or increased craving for certain kinds of food, fatigue, back aches and in some cases, slow speech and movements. Depression makes the person pessimistic and irritable, decreases interest or pleasure in usual activities or hobbies. Feelings of guilt and hopelessness are common among individuals suffering from clinical depression. Prozac (anti-depressant drug) has almost become a household name in countries like America, where millions of people are prescribed the drug among other anti-depressants. Depression can have a number of contributing factors that are involved - genes, environment, diet, lifestyle, brain chemicals, psychology, and personality. Some of the different types of depression apart from unipolar depression are manic depression (bipolar disorder), major depression, atypical depression, psychotic depression, and dysthymia. A short description of these types of depression is given below.

Different Types Of Depression

Major Depression
Major depressive disorder also known as clinical depression is one of the most commonly observed, types of depression. The person who suffers from this particular disorder will seem distant and walk with drooping shoulders and stops being interested in regular activities and experiences a loss of libido. Loss of appetite and thoughts of death and suicide are also very common. If a person experiences all of these symptoms for more than two weeks, he/she could be diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

Bipolar Depression
This disorder normally starts during adolescence and continues throughout out the patient’s life. People suffering from it, may suffer from it for years, and not know of it. Chronic episodic mood swings is a major symptom of this disorder. Failed marriages, job loss, drug and alcohol abuse and suicidal tendencies could all result due to the manic episodes.

Cyclothymic Disorder
This disorder is characterized by mild and alternating mood swings of elation and depression over a long period of time. Because the mood swings involve feelings of elation, people suffering from this disorder rarely seek medical help. Patients with this disorder could develop bipolar disorder, if not treated on time.
Dysthymia Depression
This form of depression exhibits less serious symptoms than major depression but lasts much longer. The characteristic symptoms of a person suffering from dysthymia depression is gloominess, anhedonia, low drive and energy, pessimistic outlook on everything and low self-esteem. The patient also suffers from insomnia, loss of concentration, loss of libido, etc. It has been observed more in women than in men.

Postpartum Depression
This a rare type of depression found in women within one week to six months after the birth of a child. Physical changes such as increased body weight and hormonal imbalances may occur during and after pregnancy and these could trigger depression in some women.

Psychotic Depression
This is a much more serious and rarer form of depression than most other types of depression. Patients that develop this form of depression develop strange beliefs about themselves and the world around them. They experience a severely depressed mood, often hallucinate, and have over-valued guilty feelings.

There are other more uncommon types of depression which generally stem from one or more of the above-mentioned depressive disorders. Depressive disorders such as anxiety depression, seasonal affective disorder, double depression, endogenous depression are also observed in some patients.