Types of Depression

What Is Major or Clinical Depression?


Most people feel sad or low at some point in their lives. But clinical depression is marked by a depressed mood most of the day, sometimes particularly in the morning, and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships -- symptoms that are present every day for at least 2 weeks. In addition, according to the DSM-5 -- a manual used to diagnose mental health conditions -- you may have other symptoms with major depression. 

Those symptoms might include:

Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day

Impaired concentration, indecisiveness

Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day

Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others)

Restlessness or feeling slowed down

Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month)


Bipolar Disorder

Someone with bipolar disorder, which is also sometimes called "manic depression," has mood episodes that range from extremes of high energy with an "up" mood to low "depressive" periods.

When you're in the low phase, you'll have the symptoms of major depression.


Traditional antidepressants are not always recommended as first-line treatments for bipolar depression because there's no proof from studies that these drugs are more helpful than a placebo (a sugar pill) in treating depression in people with bipolar disorder. Also, for a small percentage of people with bipolar disorder, some traditional antidepressants may increase the risk of causing a "high" phase of illness, or speeding up the frequency of having more episodes over time.

Counseling can also help support you and your family.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder is a period of major depression that most often happens during the winter months, when the days grow short and you get less and less sunlight. It typically goes away in the spring and summer.

If you have SAD, antidepressants can help. So can light therapy. You'll need to sit in front of a special bright light box for about 15-30 minutes each day.


Psychotic Depression

People with psychotic depression have the symptoms of major depression along with "psychotic" symptoms, such as:

Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren't there)

Delusions (false beliefs)

Paranoia (wrongly believing that others are trying to harm you)


Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression

Women who have major depression in the weeks and months after childbirth may have peripartum depression. 


Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Women with PMDD have depression and other symptoms at the start of their period.

Besides feeling depressed, you may also have:

Mood swings

Irritability

Anxiety

Trouble concentrating

Fatigue

Change in appetite or sleep habits

Feelings of being overwhelmed




YOU ARE NOT ALONE. MAKE THE CALL. 


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday

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