Types of Depression

Many people are not aware of the many types of depression that exist. The difference between one type of depression or another may determine the treatment required to help that depression. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of depression and explore what symptoms and characteristics each type of depression exhibits.

All types of depression cause significant distress. All types of depression also impair a person’s functioning in school, work, relationships and more. Also, diagnosable depression is not caused by any medical conditions, medications or drugs. Diagnosable depression is also considered different from the grief process, but if the grief process lasts longer than one year and meets all of the requirements of depression, it may be considered as diagnosable depression after that point.

Below are some of the types of depression:

  • Major Depression, also known as Major Depressive Disorder, is the most well-known type of depression in which the depression is severe and consistently lasts more than two weeks.
  • Melancholic Depression is a type of Major Depressive Disorder where there is a loss of pleasure that does not improve, is consistently worse in the morning and usually involves lack of sleep, weight loss and guilty and hopeless feelings.
  • Catatonic Depression is a type of Major Depressive disorder in which the person stops reacting to the environment. The person may be unable or unwilling to speak and might either stop moving voluntarily or might engage in excessive, repetitive movements that make no sense. Other symptoms include making bizarre faces and repeating words.
  • Dysthymia is sometimes known as “chronic depression” because it lasts for two years or more. It is usually less severe than Major Depressive Disorder, but it can include Major Depressive Episodes.
  • Atypical Depression is different from major depression as it usually allows the person to feel some moments of happiness. The atypically depressed person can occasionally go out and have fun but will soon return to the major depressive state. Atypical depression may also include overeating, oversleeping and chronic fatigue.
  • Psychotic Depression causes the sufferer to hallucinate and see and hear things that are not here.  These imaginings are often very negative and sometimes frightening. There is a marked separation from reality in psychotic depression.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), known as seasonal depression, occurs once a year, most often in the fall or winter and ends in early summer or spring. Psychologists have linked seasonal affective disorder to low levels of vitamin D in the body, most likely caused from lack of sunlight.
  • Bipolar Depression occurs with bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression. The main characteristic of this depression is that it will eventually shift to mania. It may include psychotic depression symptoms and does cause a high risk for suicide.
  • Postpartum Depression is much more than the “baby blues.” PPD affects new mothers and has been linked to hormonal changes following the end of pregnancy. PPD can include symptoms of psychosis in some occasions and is as serious as major depressive episode. Because new mothers are often caring for children, it is very important that these women get treatment as soon as possible from trained professionals.

Help for All Types of Depression

Any type of depression is an unwelcome experience. There is hope and there are effective treatments for all types of depression. We offer a toll-free 24-hour helpline to help you learn more about your options. If you are seeking counseling, long-term treatment, or just a friendly voice, our trained counselors are available to answer your call.

1 (866) 612-7501