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Common Types of Depression

Common Types of Depression

Depression is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people each year. In the United States, it is estimated that one out of every five adults will receive a diagnosis of depression during their lifetime. Depression can manifest in a variety of ways, each with its own set of symptoms and challenges. 

6 Common Types of Depression: 

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, is a prevalent and severe form of depression. People with this type of depression have a deep and unshakable feeling of despair. It is much more than occasional feelings of sadness. MDD envelops individuals in a persistent cloud of melancholy that affects how they feel, think, and handle daily activities. 

Symptoms are multifaceted and can include a significant loss of pleasure in almost all activities, appetite changes that may lead to noticeable weight loss or gain, sleep disturbances such as insomnia or excessive sleeping, increased fatigue or a noticeable decrease in energy, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, difficulties with decision-making or concentration, and in severe cases, reoccurring thoughts of suicide or death. 

Symptoms must last for at least 14 days for a diagnosis of MDD, but many individuals experience these symptoms for much longer periods.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a less intense, longer-lasting form of depression, stretching over a period of at least two years. This long-term illness affects an individual’s mood, energy, and self-esteem in a way that interferes with every aspect of daily life. Persistent depressive disorder may seem less dramatic than major depressive disorder, but it is no less debilitating. 

Those grappling with PDD often find themselves in a consistent state of sadness or hopelessness, experiencing mild to moderate depressive symptoms that never completely go away. The prolonged nature of this type of depression can make personal, social, and professional life challenging, as individuals struggle with a persistent feeling of inadequacy or loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder 

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) emerges as a patterned form of depression, correlating with the shifting seasons, generally affecting individuals during the less sunny fall and winter months. This cyclical disorder disrupts the usual balance of serotonin and melatonin in the body. People diagnosed with SAD may find themselves grappling with overwhelming fatigue, a noticeable increase in irritability, and an altered appetite, particularly a craving for carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain. The diminished light of winter can significantly impact circadian rhythms, exacerbating these symptoms and often leading to social withdrawal or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a type of depression where the individual experiences periods of major depression and manic episodes. These dramatic fluctuations affect the person’s emotional state, energy, and ability to function. During manic episodes, the individual might experience an overly joyful or overexcited state, often with a surge of energy and sometimes with a reduced need for sleep. These episodes can lead to impulsive decisions and risky behaviors due to inflated self-esteem or grandiosity and a decreased recognition of consequences. 

Conversely,  depressive episodes entail feelings of deep sadness, hopelessness, or despair, with a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and changes in sleeping and eating patterns. These contrasting episodes can severely impact a person’s life, relationships, and ability to perform daily tasks.

Depression with Psychotic Features

Depression with psychotic features is marked by an intertwining of severe depressive symptoms with elements of psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions. These additional psychotic symptoms often manifest as false beliefs of ruin, guilt, or illness that are disconnected from reality, or seeing or hearing things that others do not. 

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder that affects some women after giving birth. It is significantly different from the mild, transient “baby blues” that tend to dissipate after a few weeks. PPD is characterized by a debilitating combination of emotional, physical, and behavioral changes. It can manifest through intense feelings of emptiness, anxiety, or sadness, making it difficult for mothers to perform daily care activities for themselves and their newborns. 

Symptoms might also include overwhelming fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced interest or pleasure in activities, and severe mood swings. PPD symptoms persist and intensify, potentially harming the mother-child bonding process and impacting the family dynamic. Recognizing the signs early and seeking intervention is crucial. 

Canyon Vista Can Help

If you or someone you care about suffers from depression, we can help. At Canyon Vista Recovery Center in Mesa, Arizona, we offer mental health treatment for individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, substance use disorder, and co-occurring disorders. Find out how Canyon Vista can help. Contact us today.

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