The Different Types Of Depression
Much like other forms of mental illness, depression is very complex and can therefore be hard to define. That is why there are different types of depression. The cause and circumstances behind each type will also be different. Below are just a few examples of the different types of depression that exist.
Recurrent Depressive Disorder
RDD involves repeated depressive episodes wherein the person experiences reduced energy levels, loss of interest, disturbed sleeping patterns, loss of appetite, feelings of low-self worth / guilt, poor concentration and a generally depressed mood. In order for Recurrent Depressive Disorder to be diagnosed, symptom must persist for at least two weeks. People diagnosed with RDD may also suffer from anxiety attacks.
A RDD diagnosis can vary on a scale of mild, moderate and severe. Individuals diagnosed with a mild depression will find it difficult to concentrate at work and be social, whereas individuals suffering from a severe depression will not be able to complete routine activities.
Major Depressive Disorder
Otherwise known as Clinical Depression, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is characterised by an ongoing low mood, low self-esteem as well as loss of interest in activities that previously were considered interesting. In order to be diagnosed with MDD, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. MDD is also referred to as Major Depression.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Also called Dysthymia, Persistent Depressive Disorder is a prolonged period of depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. During this time, a person may have periods of severe depression as well as periods of milder depression. In order to be diagnosed with Persistent Depressive Disorder, symptoms must last for at least two years.
This occurs in people who also suffer from some type of psychosis, such as hallucinations (i.e. seeing objects, people or animals that do not exist or hearing things that have not been said) or delusions (i.e. false beliefs in narratives that do not exist). Delusions will often have a depressive element to them such as delusions of poverty, illness or guilt.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common in people who live in countries with long winters such as Russia, Canada and the Nordic and Baltic countries. SAD occurs as a result of less natural sunlight during the winter months and lifts at the onset of spring. Typical symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are increased sleep, social withdrawal as well as weight-gain associated with over eating. SAD is one of the few forms of depression that can be anticipated.
Postpartum Depression (PPD) relates to behavioural, physical and emotional changes that occur in a woman after giving birth. PPD is not to be confused with mild forms of depression that typically cease two week after giving birth. Women who suffer from Postpartum Depression experience severe depression during pregnancy or after delivery. Symptoms associated with PPD such as exhaustion, anxiety and sadness can often make it difficult for the mother to take care of her child and herself.
Bipolar Affective Disorder
Bipolar Affective Disorder consists of an intense mixture of extreme manic and depressive episodes. Manic episodes consist of over-activity, inflated self-esteem, a decreased need for sleep, elevated or irritable mood and a hastened speech.
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, or DMDD for short, is a disorder wherein a child is chronically irritable and exhibits severe temper tantrums out of proportion to the stimuli that has caused the reaction.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a more extreme form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), affecting women of child-bearing age. The suspected cause of PMDD is an over reaction to the hormone changes that occur with each menstrual cycle. The hormone changes can cause a serotonin deficiency. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the brain and intestines that affects mood levels.