Every human goes through periods of happiness and sadness for as long as they are alive. Sometimes the sorrow and grief may be deep and consuming, other times it might be easy to get over. However, when this sense of grief and deep sadness lasts longer than two weeks and begins to affect an individual’s ability to function, we may then suspect that to be a sign of depression.
There are some common symptoms of depression that are easily noticeable:
- Lack of energy
- Dark moods
- Change in appetite
- A deep feeling of sadness
- A feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Sleep deprivation or excess sleep
- Withdrawal from friends
- General weakness
- A lack of sleep or oversleeping
- Difficulty with concentration
- Loss of interest in hobbies and other activities you used to find interesting
- Thoughts of suicide or death
- Difficulty getting through normal daily activities
Never expect that every person dealing with depression will experience the same symptoms in the same degree. You might experience about three or four of these symptoms, and someone else might experience more or less and even experience some symptoms that are not included in this list. Have it at the back of your mind that is it possible for a person to experience some of the listed symptoms once in a while in the absence of depression.
The only way these symptoms can transform into depression is when they begin to affect your everyday life.
A lot of people think depression is one condition that can be easily figured out but the truth of the matter is that depression has many types. Although it is true that all types of depression have some symptoms in common, some key differences help you to distinguish one type of depression from another.
In this article, we will be discussing nine different types of depression and their effect on people.
1. Major depressive disorder
A major depressive disorder is known by other names including major depression, unipolar depression, and classic depression. This kind of depression is very common, and a large number of people have at least one major depressive episode annually.
People who are dealing with major depression deal with symptoms almost every day of their life. Just like many other mental health conditions, the way you are feeling may have nothing to do with the people or things going on around you. You can have a very good job, a loving partner or family, and even appear to be living the best life to everyone around you. However, all that achievement does not serve as a shield against depression.
There may be no apparent reason for your depression, but that doesn’t make it unreal or make you an attention seeker. There are cases where depression becomes severe and brings about symptoms such as:
- Sleep deprivation or too much sleep
- Gloom, grief, or despair
- Loss of appetite or eating too much
- Constant anxiety and worry
- Unexplainable pains and aches
- Fatigue and general weakness
- Loss of interest in activities you loved
- A feeling of worthlessness
- Thoughts of death and self-annihilation
The symptoms listed above can last a few weeks or even a few months. For some individuals, they may only experience one major episode of depression while some other person may experience depression for their entire life. No matter how long the symptoms of depression last, dealing with major depression can affect your relationship with people in a negative way and also disrupt your daily activities.
2. Persistent depressive disorder
This kind of depression usually lasts for about two years or more. A persistent depressive disorder is also known as persistent depression, chronic depression, or dysthymia. Although persistent depression may not be as intense as major depressive disorder, it can still cause a stain in your relationship with other people and disturb your daily activities.
Some of the symptoms associated with the persistent depressive disorder include: A low self-esteem and feeling of inadequacy
- Social withdrawal
- Deep sadness or a feeling of hopelessness
- Appetite changes
- Difficulty engaging in work and school activities the way you should
- Sleep deprivation or excess sleep
- Becoming uninterested in things you used to find interesting
- Concentration problems and forgetfulness
Persistent depression is a long-term condition, but there is a possibility for the severity of symptoms to reduce significantly for some months before becoming serious again. Some individuals might also experience episodes of major depression while dealing with persistent depression leading to what is known as double depression.
Some people with persistent depression may begin to feel like a normal way of life to feel the way they do because the symptoms of this kind of depression last for many years at a time.
3. Bipolar disorder or manic depression
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition separate from depression. However, it is characterized by extremely high and extremely low moods. The high moods are known as mania or hypomania, while the extreme low is the episodes of depression that follows the mania or hypomanic episode.
The depressive episodes of people living with bipolar disorder have the same symptoms listed in the case of major depression. The depressive episode can make a person feel extremely sad and worthless, tired and unable to concentrate, nursing suicidal thoughts, have problems with sleep, and even become generally inactive.
The signs and symptoms of a manic phase of bipolar disorder include:
- Unexplainable happiness
- Enthusiasm and excitement about any and everything
- Willingness to take risks and engage in destructive behaviors
- High self-esteem and confidence
It is possible for a person dealing with bipolar disorder to have mixed episodes of depression and mania. Also, hypomania is similar to mania but less severe as it does not interfere with a person’s ability to carry out his or her daily work or school activities.
4. Depressive psychosis
Some people dealing with major depression may go through times where they lose touch with reality. Such an occurrence is called psychosis, and it may involve delusion and even hallucination. Having an experience of both simultaneously is clinically known as a major depressive disorder that has psychotic features.
Delusion explains a situation where a person holds dearly, beliefs that are untrue and makes no sense but to them; it is valid and real. Hallucination is when a person begins to feel, taste, see, and even hear things that are realistically absent.
5. Perinatal depression
A lot of people are gradually starting to have an idea of postpartum depression which is depression that occurs after childbirth. However, only a tiny people are aware that it is possible to fall into depression while pregnant. This kind of depression is called perinatal depression.
Perinatal depression usually starts during pregnancy but can also show up within four weeks after childbirth. There are bound to be hormonal changes during pregnancy and after childbirth. These changes in hormones that take place during pregnancy or after the birth of the child can trigger some changes in the brain as well and that could lead to depression or mood swings. These conditions can be worsened by the restlessness and sleep deprivation that accompanies pregnancy and the first few months after childbirth.
The symptoms of perinatal depression include:
- Regular worry about the health and safety of the baby
- Sadness and anger
- Thoughts of harming yourself and sometimes harming the baby
- Difficulty caring for the newborn and yourself
New mothers who do not have support from friends or loved ones and women who have dealt with depression in the past are more vulnerable to perinatal depression. However, anyone can have perinatal depression.
6. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
The premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a form of premenstrual syndrome. A premenstrual dysphoric disorder is more severe than premenstrual syndrome because it is more psychological than physical. The psychological effect of this condition on people is more severe than what happens with premenstrual syndrome. It is possible for a person dealing with the premenstrual dysphoric disorder to experience a level of depression that gets in the way of their daily function.
Some symptoms of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Muscle and joint pain
- Serious mood swings
- Bloating, cramping, and breast tenderness
- Sadness and anger
- Being eating or food craving
Most women try to dismiss premenstrual dysphoric disorder as just a case of serious PMS or hormonal changes, but it can get bad enough to stir up suicide ideation.