There are several types of depression, including:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people worldwide. The cause of MDD is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. People with MDD may experience a wide range of symptoms, including persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. They may also have difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, changes in appetite, difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and thoughts of suicide. These symptoms can greatly interfere with a person’s ability to carry out daily activities and may lead to disability and social isolation.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), also known as dysthymia, is a long-term form of depression that can last for at least two years. People with PDD may experience symptoms similar to those of MDD, but they are typically less severe. They may feel hopeless, have low self-esteem, and find it difficult to make decisions. PDD can be chronic, and people with this disorder may experience symptoms for many years without seeking help.
- Bipolar Disorder is characterized by episodes of depression and mania or hypomania (a milder form of mania). Mania is characterized by symptoms such as high energy, little need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior. People with bipolar disorder may experience episodes of depression and mania or hypomania in cycles, with periods of normal mood in between. This disorder is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs during the fall and winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. Symptoms of SAD include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, and feelings of hopelessness. SAD may be caused by changes in circadian rhythms and levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin, which are affected by changes in light exposure.
- Psychotic Depression is a severe form of depression that occurs in people who also have symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions or hallucinations. These symptoms may include false beliefs about oneself or the world, or hearing or seeing things that are not there. This type of depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors, and is often treated with a combination of antidepressants and antipsychotic medication.
- Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression is a form of depression that occurs in women after giving birth. Symptoms can include sadness, anxiety, irritability, and difficulty bonding with the baby. The causes of postpartum depression are not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and the stress of caring for a new baby.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that is characterized by depression, anxiety, and irritability. Symptoms typically occur in the week or two before menstruation and go away within a few days of onset of the period. The cause of PMDD is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to hormonal changes.
- Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder is a type of depression that is caused by the use of drugs or alcohol, or by the withdrawal from them. This type of depression is caused by changes in brain chemistry brought on by substance use or withdrawal.
- Depressive disorder due to another medical condition is a type of depression that is caused by a medical condition such as a stroke, chronic pain, or heart disease. This type of depression
- Other specified and unspecified depressive disorder are types of depression that do not fit into any of the above categories, but still cause significant distress and impairment in daily functioning.
A mental health professional can help determine the specific type(s) of depression a person is experiencing.