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8 Types of Depression You May Not Know About

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Does Depression Even Have Types?

It’s common for people to go through phases of sadness and grief but these generally don’t last more than a few days or weeks. But when the feeling persists for a period of more than two weeks, then it may hamper your daily functionings and can take the form of mental health disorders.

Some of the common ways in which chronic depression manifests itself are:

  • Long-lasting feelings of sadness
  • Low moods
  • Feelings of loneliness or hopelessness
  • Loss of appetite or tendencies of overeating
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Lack of concentration and easily getting distracted
  • Difficulty in performing daily activities
  • Spending time away from people
  • Decreasing interest in things that you used to enjoy doing before
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of death or self-harm

According to WHO (World Health Organization), India is the most depressed country in the world. Statistics from WHO also suggests that there is a lack of awareness in the country and the stigma associated with it is very high. The majority of people know what depression is but aren’t aware of its different types and severity. This blog throws light on different types of depression that you are not aware of!

8 Types of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

MDD, also known as clinical depression is the most common type of depression that occurs for more than a week or two. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 7% of the world population suffers from it. Although MDD can be managed with treatment, however, not many people go through treatment. It not only affects your mood and behavior but also physical aspects such as your appetite and sleep.  A person with MDD may have the following symptoms that include,

  • Low moods
  • Tiredness or disinterest in daily activities
  • Sleep issues
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts

MDD is one of those mental disorders which doesn’t have any fixed causes. However, several factors can cause it to aggravate. A combination of genetics, hormonal imbalances, and stress can lead to the development and deterioration of MDD.

The clinical depression symptoms can mostly be cured with the help of medication and psychotherapy. Lifestyle adjustments can also help in abetting the symptoms to some extent.

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Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), also known as dysthymia or chronic depression, is more of a long-term form of depression. It can leave you with feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy, and low self-esteem. It can reduce your interest in daily activities considerably and make you feel extremely unproductive.

Unlike MDD, the persistent depressive disorder (PDD) may not be that as severe. Perhaps it’s effects are mild, moderate or severe for a longer period. Sometimes it can prolong for a year or two. PDD is also known as dysthymia or chronic depression. The symptoms of this depressive disorder include,

  • Feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism
  • Irritability
  • Poor judgment
  • A feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Sleep and appetite issues

It’s difficult to ascertain the exact causes of PDD. However, there may be several factors that can lead to it such as:

  • Neurotransmitters in the brain
  • Genetics
  • Traumatic events

Although you can’t prevent PDD, however, you can manage the symptoms of PDD by:

  • Trying to control stress
  • Connect with family and friends
  • Get treated in case of specific problems

Bipolar disorder

Another form of mental depression is bipolar disorder. This condition is characterized by extreme mood swings consisting of emotional highs (also known as hypomania) and lows (depression). During the manic episodes, you may feel high energy while during the depressive episodes, you may feel extremely low moods. These episodes keep repeating.

  • Mood swings
  • Racing thoughts
  • Trouble in concentrating
  • The feeling of emptiness or sadness
  • Sleep-related issues
  • Incoherent speech

There are several types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder – Characterised by at least one manic episode either preceded or followed by a hypomanic or depressive episode.
  • Bipolar II Disorder – Characterised by at least one depressive or hypomanic episode but no manic episode.
  • Cyclothymic disorder – Characterised by at least two years of hypomania and depressed periods.

Mania and hypomania are two different episodes with very different symptoms. Mania causes more severe symptoms as compared to hypomania and cause obstruction work or school activities. A period of mania or hypomania will have at least three or more of the following symptoms:

  • Extremely happy or nervous behavior
  • Increased activity
  • A heightened sense of happiness and confidence
  • Reduced need for sleep

Depressive periods, on the other hand, may cause symptoms such as:

  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in life
  • Considerable weight loss
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Lack of energy or tiredness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Postpartum Depression

According to WHO, 1 in 5 mothers in India experiences postpartum depression, after their first delivery. This is due to the hormonal change after pregnancy. In some cases, it may begin during the pre-delivery stage and continues to prolong till post-delivery. PD is also known as perinatal depression. Some of the symptoms associated with it include,  

  • Extreme sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Loneliness
  • Fear about hurting the baby
  • The feeling of disconnect from the child

The two main factors that contribute to postpartum depression are:

  • Physical – Characterised by a dramatic drop in hormones (progesterone and estrogen)
  • Emotional – Characterised by feelings such as lack of identity, not being attractive, and doubting your ability to handle a child

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PDD)

Unlike other types of depression, PD and PDD are specific types that take a toll on women’s health. Generally, PDD affects women with low moods after the second half of the menstrual cycle. According to the study, about 85% of women in India experience mild symptoms of PDD. Some of the notable symptoms of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder are,

  • Severe headaches
  • A feeling of despair and sadness
  • Bingle or craving to eat
  • Increased level of stress and anxiety
  • Lack of energy

The treatment options for PDD include:

  • Antidepressants – Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Paroxetine HCI
  • Birth control pills – Medicines such as Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers – Medicines such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

If you are experiencing low moods during winter and perfectly fine during spring and other seasons, then you may have a medical condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is otherwise known as a major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern. Researchers found: SAD condition is due to the lack of sunlight that affects the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Here are some of the symptoms associated with SAD are,

  • Excessive sleep
  • Drastic weight gain
  • Social withdrawal
  • Reduced daily activities
  • The feeling of worthlessness or hopelessness

The fall and winter SAD symptoms include:

  • Oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite with a craving for more carbs
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of energy

The spring and summer SAD include:

  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety

Atypical Depression

This type of depression isn’t a rare or unusual type of depression. At the same time, it’s not the most common type either. At times you may feel depressed but it fades away when positive things happen. Following are some of the symptoms of atypical depression

  • Insomnia
  • Disorganized eating habit
  • Fear of rejection
  • Assorted aches and pains
  • Increased appetite and weight gain

Some of the risk factors to atypical depression include:

  • Family history of depression
  • The traumatic loss of a closed one
  • Interpersonal conflicts causing guilt
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • Serious illnesses such as cancer
  • Alcohol abuse

Psychotic Depression

Psychotic is a mental health condition that causes a person to lose touch with reality. They may hear or see things that don’t exist. Research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests that 20% of people with severe depression experience episodes of psychosis. Symptoms of psychotic depression are

  • Hallucination
  • Delusion
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Social isolation  
  • Sleep issues

The treatment for psychotic depression mostly occurs in a hospital or controlled setting. You’ll be closely monitored by mental health professionals and given combinations of antidepressants and antipsychotic medications. Antipsychotic medications affect the neurotransmitters which form the basis of communication between the nerve cells of the brain.

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What’s the remedy?

Early interventions have huge positive impacts on reducing the symptoms of depression. If you or your loved one may be experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, reach out to a mental health professional. Call us @ +91 96111 94949  

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