Posted by & filed under Depression.

main-types-depressionWhen we talk about depression, what are we really talking about? Low mood for a day, a week? Must a sufferer always be found hiding beneath the covers? Or do periods of energy suddenly come and go?

We do know that depression doesn’t necessarily get better on its own. And many people don’t know that depression comes in many forms.

Be aware of the following types and their symptoms, just in case you or someone you know needs help now:

1. Major depression. 

This type of depression is general. Life feels very low and gray, without highs or colour.

Common symptoms include:

Lack of pleasure or interest
Significant fluctuations in weight
Sleep disturbances
Feeling “sped up” or “slowed down”
Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
Poor decision-making or focus
Suicidal thoughts

2. Persistent depressive disorder.

This type of depression is chronic, but symptomatically less severe than major depression.

However, this type lasts considerably longer, two years or more, than other types of depression.

Common symptoms include:

Significant shifts in appetite
Sleeping too little or too much
Low self-esteem
Difficulty making decisions

3. Bipolar depression.

Once known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is much more likely to disable social and mental functioning.

Mood swings from high to low are dramatic and unpredictable. High rates of suicide are linked to this type.

Common symptoms include:

Guilt and worthlessness
Rapid mood swings
Slow movement and speech
Sleep problems
Weight gain
Deep sadness, hopelessness or emptiness
Suicidal thinking

4. Seasonal affective disorder.

Known as SAD,this type of depression is linked to specific times of the year.

SAD usually occurs during the late fall and winter, with a small number affected during the late spring and summer.

The stress of anticipating the onset of SAD builds anxiety months before the yearly onset.

Symptoms include:

Increased desire to sleep (insomnia in summer SAD)
Craving for sugar, “comfort” foods, or alcohol (appetite loss in summer SAD)
Weight gain (weight loss in summer SAD)
Irritability and agitation
Frequent interpersonal conflict
Sense of heaviness in extremities
Desire to seek out light locations

5. Psychotic depression.

This is a subset of major depressive disorder.

The primary difference is that sufferers experience a break with reality.

The following “psychotic” problems and additional issues occur:

Agitation and anxiety
Cognitive impairment

6. Postpartum depression.

This type is more than normal “baby blues.”

True postpartum depression falls under a series of conditions called “perinatal mood disorders.” Symptoms generally occur a few months after the baby is born.

These symptoms indicate postpartum depression:

Eating and sleeping disturbances
Racing, anxious thoughts
Deep feelings of guilt regarding mothering capabilities
Irritation and anger
Intrusive thoughts regarding baby’s safety
Feeling unlike yourself

7. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

PMDD affects women who experience noticeable sadness, and low mood, at the start of their menstrual cycle.

Depression is exacerbated by:

Mood swings
Anxious thoughts
Difficulty with concentration
Change in appetite
Disrupted sleep
Feeling overwhelmed

8. Stress response syndrome.

This is also referred to as an adjustment disorder, or “situational” depression.

This type of depression occurs when attempting to manage stressful life events, like death, divorce, or job loss. It rarely lasts longer than six months.

Symptoms vary, but may include:

Feelings of hopelessness
Loss of interest in work or activities
Sleep disturbance
Trouble focusing on work or study

9. Atypical depression.

This is a subtype of major depression, or persistent depressive disorder.

People with atypical depression generally had an early depressive experience, typically during the teen years.

The condition is marked by:

Increased appetite or weight gain
Excessive sleep
Fatigue or muscle weakness
Sensitivity and moods reactive to environmental situations
Extreme sensitivity to rejection

Counselling for depression is available face-to-face in Glasgow, or by telephone or Skype video.

Call Neil Ward Counselling today on 07970 860 711 to book an appointment or arrange a free 15 minute telephone consultation.


Neil Ward Counselling