Depression is a very complex illness. There is no exact information about what causes depression, and everyone is experiencing depression in his/her way.
The most important motive for needing to know what types of depression we have is to make sure we get the most appropriate treatment.
There are several types of depression (depressive disorders).
Major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder are the most frequent types of depression.
Major depressive disorder (major depression)
Major depressive disorder is also called major depression. Hence, we shall speak about patients who suffer from a combination of symptoms that destabilize their ability to sleep, study, work, or eat.
According to experts, among other types of depression, major depression can be very disabling, preventing the patient from acting normally. Some people experience only one episode, while others have repeated experiences.
Dysthymic disorder (dysthymia)
Dysthymic disorder is also known as dysthymia, or mild chronic depression. In this case, the patient will have depressive symptoms for a long time, at least 2 years. The symptoms are not as acute as in major depression – they do not hinder the patient. However, people affected with dysthymic disorder may find it hard to function normally and feel well.
When a patient has hallucinations, delusions, and/or withdrawing from reality, we may speak about psychotic depression or delusional depression.
Postpartum depression (postnatal depression)
When a mother develops a major depressive episode within a few weeks of giving birth, it is most likely she goes through a postpartum or postnatal depression. Experts believe that about 10% to 15% of all women experience this type of depression after giving birth. Unfortunately, many of them are undiagnosed and suffer for long periods without treatment and support. Postpartum depression can start any time within a year of giving birth.
SAD (seasonal affective disorder)
SAD is much more common when you go further from the equator, where the end of summer means less sunlight and more dark hours. A person who develops depression during winter might have SAD.
SAD symptoms go away during spring and/or summer. Light therapy works for about half of all SAD patients. Some people may need antidepressants, psychotherapy, or both, in this case.
Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
It used to be known as manic depression. A patient with bipolar disorder goes through moments of extreme highs and extreme lows â€“ this is called manias.