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Types of Depression

Table of Contents

  1. Types of depression
  2. Major depression
  3.  Melancholia
  4. Psychotic depression
  5. Antenatal and postnatal depression
  6. Bipolar disorder
  7. Cyclothymic disorder
  8. Dysthymic disorder
  9. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Types of depression

There are number of different types of depressive disorders. The symptoms of depression can range from minor to very severe, so we need to categorize them and to identify their possible symptoms.

Major depression

It is sometime called as major depressive disorder, unipolar depression, clinical depression or simply a depression. It can be identified by low mood or loss of interest in social activities. The symptoms can be viewed for more than two weeks. The symptoms interfere in all areas of life including social relations and work. The depression can be categorized as mild, moderate and severe.


It is the most severe form of depression where most of the physical symptoms of depression can be viewed. Among these the most observable symptom is the slowness in the movement. The affected individual have depressed mood which can be seen as complete loss of pleasure and joy in everything.

Psychotic depression

In psychotic depressive disorder a person may lose touch with reality and have recurrent attacks or psychosis. This might involve hallucinations (a condition during which unexpected feelings about things which are not present appears) or delusions (having false believes and statements which are not shared with others), believing they are evil or bad, or some time feeling of being watched out may dominate. In some severe cases paranoid may occur, which is a feeling as though someone is against you and you are the real cause of all the illness happening around them.

Antenatal and postnatal depression

During pregnancy (which is known as prenatal or antenatal period), and during childbirth (which is recognized as postnatal period) women are at risk of depression.

The depression at this time have complex causes and is associated with number of factors. Soon after child birth women may experience a condition known as “baby blues” a condition which occurs due to hormonal changes. The depression is normally long lasting and it not only affect the mother, but have serious impact on her behaviour towards child development, her relation with her partner is also affected. More than 10% of women must experience depression during a period of pregnancy.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is also known as “manic depression” because in that particular case a person experience periods of depression along with periods of mania and periods of normal mood as well.

Mania is the opposite of depression and have variety in intensity. It is characterized by feeling of great, having racing thoughts, lots of energy with little desire to sleep. Developing a habit of talking fast and feeling difficulty in focusing specific tasks, and feeling of irritable and frustrated.

Cyclothymic disorder

It is milder form of the well-known bipolar disorder. The affected individual have fluctuations in mood for at least two years, involving periods of depressive symptoms and hypomania, with almost negligible or very short period of normality may appear. As the symptoms and time period are shorter so we cannot include it under the heading of bipolar disorder.

Dysthymic disorder

The symptoms are altogether same as for major depression, but are not very much severe. However, the symptoms are long lasting, to get diagnosis a person must have experienced this milder depression for more than two years.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD has seasonal pattern. The real causes of SAD are not clear; but, it is now associated with variation in intensity of light in different seasons. It is normally characterized by disturbance in mood which starts and then end up in a particular season. The changes in the mood during winter is the most identified condition in SAD. It is mostly found in people of Northern Hemisphere.


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