What Are The Different Types Of Depression?

Symptoms of depression are not just limited to extreme sadness. Depression comes in various types and can be coupled with other mental illnesses. It is important to know that each type of depression is serious and can become severe, but with the proper treatment (therapy and/or medication) a person’s life can be improved significantly. Listed below are some of the more common types of depression.

Major Depressive Disorder 

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most commonly known type of depression. People who suffer from MDD experience symptoms such as a depressed mood and loss of interest or pleasure. They commonly have feelings of worthlessness, fatigue or loss of energy, and diminished ability to concentrate. They also likely have problems with sleeping (insomnia or hypersomnia) and their appetite. The combination of several of these symptoms indicate the person is experiencing a major depressive episode. In many cases, these episodes are recurrent. MDD can negatively affect a person’s relationships, their work, and other activities that they used to love to do. 

Persistent Depressive Disorder 

Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, is when a person continuously experiences symptoms of depression for at least 2 years. While they may experience fewer symptoms than those who suffer from MDD, these symptoms remain unchanged over a longer period of time. Symptoms are also less severe compared to MDD. It is possible for someone to suffer from MDD as well as dysthymia (“double depression”).  

Bipolar Depression 

Individuals who have from Bipolar I or Bipolar II suffer from experiences of major depressive episodes along with manic episodes (for Bipolar I) or hypomanic episodes (Bipolar II). Since these individuals experience a range of episodes with extreme moods of high energy and low energy, there can be impairments in their everyday functioning and can cause distress. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder 

Due to the lack of sunlight and shorter days during the winter, some individuals may suffer from symptoms of major depression. This is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Individuals may start to experience symptoms of a major depressive episode during the late fall/early winter season, and typically end during the spring/summer season. 

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

During the start of their period, women who have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) suffer from depression as well as other symptoms such as anxiety, irritability or anger, and feelings of being overwhelmed. These symptoms experienced cause clinically significant distress to the individual and may interfere with everyday activities. 

Psychotic Depression

In addition to experiencing hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, individuals who suffer from psychotic depression also experience several symptoms of major depressive disorder such as apathy (the inability to initiate and persist in activities), loss of experience of pleasure, and emotional/social withdrawal. 

Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression

Peripartum depression, more commonly known as postpartum depression, can be experienced by a woman weeks or months after childbirth. They experience symptoms of major depressive disorder such as feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and guilt. This can make it difficult to focus and remember information. Severe postpartum depression can lead to lack of enjoyment with the baby and thoughts about harming themselves or their baby.