Basic Psychology, Psychopathology

Depression – Types

1.Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) 

When people use the term clinical depression, they are generally referring to major depressive disorder (MDD). Major depressive disorder is a mood disorder characterized by a number of key features:​​​

  • Depressed mood
  • Lack of interest in activities normally enjoyed
  • Changes in weight
  • Changes in sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death and suicide

If a person experiences the majority of these symptoms for longer than a two-week period, they will often be diagnosed with MDD.

2.Persistent Depressive Disorder

Dysthymia, now known as persistent depressive disorder, refers to a type of chronic depression present for more days than not for at least two years. It can be mild, moderate, or severe.

3.Postpartum Depression

Pregnancy can bring about significant hormonal shifts that can often affect a woman’s moods. Depression can have its onset during pregnancy or following the birth of a child.

Postpartum depression is more than that just the “baby blues.” It can range from a persistent lethargy and sadness that requires medical treatment all the way up to postpartum psychosis, a condition in which the mood episode is accompanied by confusion, hallucinations or delusions.

4.Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

If you experience depression, sleepiness, and weight gain during the winter months but feel perfectly fine in spring, you may have a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), currently called major depressive disorder, with seasonal pattern.

SAD is believed to be triggered by a disturbance in the normal circadian rhythm of the body. Light entering through the eyes influences this rhythm, and any seasonal variation in night/day pattern can cause a disruption leading to depression.

SAD is more common in far northern or far southern regions of the planet and can often be treated with light therapy to offset the seasonal loss the daylight.

5.Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Among the most common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are irritability, fatigue, anxiety, moodiness, bloating, increased appetite, food cravings, aches, and breast tenderness.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) produces similar symptoms, but those related to mood are more pronounced. They may include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or self-critical
  • Severe feelings of stress or anxiety
  • Mood swings, often with bouts of crying
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Food cravings or binging

Hormonal treatments may be used in addition to antidepressants and lifestyle changes.

6.Atypical Depression

Do you experience signs of depression (such as overeating, sleeping too much, or extreme sensitivity to rejection) but find yourself suddenly perking up in face of a positive event?

Based on these symptoms, you may be diagnosed with atypical depression, a type of depression which does not follow what was thought to be the “typical” presentation of the disorder. Atypical depression is characterized by a specific set of symptoms related to:

  • Excessive eating or weight gain
  • Excessive sleep
  • Fatigue, weakness, and feeling “weighed down”
  • Intense sensitivity to rejection
  • Strongly reactive moods

It is actually more common than the name might imply. Unlike other forms of depression, people with atypical depression respond better to a type of antidepressant known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAO).

 

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