8 Types of Depression and Their Symptoms

There are always periods of sadness and deep grief in life. For some people, these low feelings usually dwindle within a few days or weeks, depending on the circumstances. However, intense sadness that lasts more than two weeks and affects your daily activities may be a sign of depression.

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Some of the common symptoms of depression are:

  • dark moods
  • deep feelings of sadness
  • appetite changes
  • sleep changes
  • withdrawing from friends
  • feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • fatigue
  • lack of concentration
  • difficulty getting through your normal activities
  • lack of interest in things you formerly enjoy
  • fixation on suicidal thoughts

Depression affects everyone differently, and you might only have some of these symptoms. There are many types of depression. While they share some common symptoms, they also have some key differences.

Here’s a look at nine types of depression and how they affect people.

  1. Major depression

Major depression, also called major depressive disorder, or unipolar depression is fairly common. According to statistics, about 16.2 million adults in the U.S. have experienced at least one major depressive episode.

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People with major depression experience symptoms most of the day, every day. Major depression has little to do with what’s happening around you. A person can still suffer from this type of depression despite having a loving family, lots of friends, and a dream job.  You can have the kind of life that others envy and still have depression.

Symptoms of major depression includes:

  • hopelessness, gloom, or grief
  • difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
  • lack of appetite or overindulging
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • loss of interest in formerly pleasurable activities
  • lack of concentration, memory problems, and inability to make decisions
  • lack of energy
  • constant anxiety
  • thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide

These symptoms can last weeks or even months. Some people might have a single episode of major depression, while others experience it throughout their life. Regardless of how long its symptoms last, major depression can cause problems in your relationships and daily activities.

  1. Depressive psychosis

This type of depression can involve delusions and hallucinations. Some people with major depression also go through periods of losing touch with reality. This is known as psychosis. Depressive psychosis or psychotic depression occurs when you hears, see, smell, taste, or feel things that aren’t really there. An example of this would be hearing voices or seeing people who aren’t present. Some symptoms of this depression may include slowed movements or sitting still.

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  1. Seasonal depression

Seasonal depression, also called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and clinically known as major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern, is depression that’s related to certain seasons. It tends to happen during winter or cold months for most people. Symptoms often begin in the fall, as days start to get shorter, and continue through the winter. They include:

  • increased need for sleep
  • weight gain
  • feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or unworthiness
  • social withdrawal

As the season progresses, seasonal depression may exercerbate and can lead to suicidal thoughts. Symptoms tend to improve once winter is over and Spring comes.

  1. Persistent depression

Persistent depressive disorder lasts for two years or more. It’s also called dysthymia or chronic depression. Persistent depression may not be severe compared to major depression, but it can still cause daily tasks to be difficult.

Some symptoms of persistent depression include:

  • changes in appetite
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • deep sadness or hopelessness
  • low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy
  • lack of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • low energy
  • lack of concentration
  • memory problems
  • difficulty functioning at school or work
  • inability to feel joy, even at happy occasions
  • social withdrawal
  1. Manic depression

Manic depression, also called bipolar disorder, consists of periods of mania or hypomania, where you feel very happy, alternating with episodes of depression.

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In order to be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, you have to experience an episode of mania that lasts for seven days, or less if hospitalization is required. You may experience a depressive episode before or following the manic episode.

Depressive episodes have the same symptoms as major depression, including:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • lack of energy
  • loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • decreased activity
  • suicidal thoughts

Signs of a manic phase include:

  • high energy
  • irritability
  • feeling euphoric
  • reduced sleep
  • racing thoughts and speech
  • magnificent thinking
  • increased self-esteem and confidence
  • self-destructive behavior

Episodes can include hallucinations and delusions in severe cases.

  1. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS symptoms can be both physical and psychological, but PMDD symptoms seems to be mostly psychological and more severe.

Some women might feel more emotional in the days close to their period. But someone with PMDD might experience a level of depression and sadness that affects daily activities. PMDD is caused by hormonal changes. Its symptoms often begin just after ovulation and start to reduce once period starts.

Other possible symptoms of PMDD include:

  • bloating, cramps, and breast tenderness
  • sleep problems
  • headaches
  • joint and muscle pain
  • lack of concentration
  • sadness and despair
  • lack of energy
  • irritability and anger
  • extreme mood swings
  • food cravings or binge eating
  • panic attacks or anxiety
  1. Situational depression

Situational depression or adjustment disorder with depressed mood, looks like major depression in many respects.

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However it’s caused by specific events or situations, such as:

  • the death of a loved one
  • life-threatening event
  • a serious illness
  • emotionally or physically abusive relationships
  • facing extensive legal troubles
  • going through divorce or child custody issues
  • being unemployed or facing serious financial difficulties

Situational depression symptoms tend to start within three months of the initial event and can include:

  • changes in appetite
  • frequent crying
  • sadness and hopelessness
  • anxiety
  • difficulty sleeping
  • aches and pains
  • lack of energy and fatigue
  • inability to concentrate
  • social withdrawal
  1. Perinatal depression

Perinatal depression, also called postpartum depression, occurs during pregnancy or within four weeks of childbirth. Perinatal depression can occur while you’re pregnant. This depression can be triggered by hormonal changes in the brain that occur during pregnancy and childbirth. Lack of sleep and physical discomfort that often accompanies pregnancy and having a newborn doesn’t help remedy this condition. Symptoms of perinatal depression can be as severe as those of major depression and include:

  • rage
  • sadness
  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • great worry about the baby‘s health and safety
  • difficulty caring for yourself or the new baby
  • thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby

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