The Most Common Types of Depression

The Most Common Types of Depression

It is frequently misunderstood that there is only one type of depression that manifests, when in actuality there are quite a few. Depression is unfortunately rampant in our society, with it affecting around 16 million adults in the US each year alone according to the ADAA. There are different criteria that separate each form of depression from one another – some types are more severe, only occur under specific circumstances, or are also under the umbrella of another mental illness. Regardless of the differences between the various categories of depression, they can all be debilitating and affect an individual’s day-to-day life significantly if ignored and not treated.

If you are in the region of Southlake, depression does not have to go untreated any longer. If you happen to be seeking out a clinical psychologist, Southlake specialists known as Dr. Messina & Associates are well equipped to treat assorted types of depression and can assist you with the management of your treatment if medication is prescribed. Today’s aim will be to acquire a more sufficient understanding of some of the different forms of depression that exist and what they entail.


Major Depression

More officially recognized as major depressive disorder (MDD), this form of depression is one of the most severe versions that exists and is characterized by an extreme lack of interest in things or activities that would typically bring one enjoyment, alterations in sleep patterns and energy levels, and potentially suicidal thoughts. If you have ever heard of the phrase clinical depression, this is generally the type that is being referred to in this instance. Major depression can hinder an individual from accomplishing daily functions, but if help is sought out there are numerous treatment options that can help manage major depression properly. Antidepressant medications and cognitive behavioral therapy have proven to work very effectively in treating MDD among those who have been diagnosed with this condition.


Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is also known as dysthymia and is categorized by chronic symptoms such as sadness, lack of pleasure in things that once brought amusement, and changes in appetite and energy that are persistent and last for 2 years or even longer. The severity of this form of depression may vary and be less harsh than major depression, but the presence of the symptoms is more noticeable than not within the duration of the 2 years. A combination of therapy and antidepressant medication is generally applied to help manage the symptoms of PDD, which works successfully when a steadily maintained.


Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects women who experience severe changes in their mood due to hormonal changes that occur after giving birth. Some form of mood shift is common under these circumstances, but with PPD, the symptoms are evident for longer than 2 weeks – and may even last up to a year in some instances. Some of the typical symptoms that are seen with postpartum depression include extreme feelings of sadness and irritability, fluctuations in the energy levels and appetite, issues bonding with baby, and even suicidal thoughts. PDD can still be managed through antidepressants, intensive therapy, and hormone therapy can be a highly useful form of treatment, as well.


Bipolar Disorder

When it comes to bipolar disorder, individuals with this condition deal with extreme mood fluctuations that go between periods of mania followed by intervals of depression that generally last for at least two weeks. The manic episodes can vary in severity, but they might necessitate hospitalization depending on how critical the episode is and how much it is affecting one’s daily life. The crash and depressive episode that follows can be extremely debilitating, resulting in significant fatigue, anger, physical pain, and despair. Mood stabilizers are good at managing the different forms of bipolar disorder that exist, and of course the management of this condition is even better when psychotherapy is also applied.


Seasonal Affective Disorder

The condition known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, unfortunately common and onsets during the winter months among those that experience this. It is understood that the shift in the daylight hours that happens in the winter disturbs the natural circadian rhythm (the sleep-wake cycle) in those who experience SAD. Symptoms of this condition involve heightened levels of sadness, fatigue, and changes in the appetite. Research that has been done surrounding SAD and those that it affects has shown that it is more likely to occur among individuals that live in the northern regions of the US in comparison to those that live closer to the equator. People that experience SAD can benefit from antidepressant medications, light therapy, and psychotherapy while the symptoms are present.


Atypical Depression

Lastly, we have atypical depression, which presents itself quite differently than all of the other forms of depression that we have discussed today. Atypical depression manifests as periodic feelings of sadness, rejection, fatigue, increased appetite, and bodily weakness. The difference with atypical depression is the fact that these symptoms will typically go away when something positive happens that brings the individual into a good mood. This form of depression is rather common and can still make it difficult to enjoy things one normally would when the depressive feelings have come on. Treatment options for atypical depression include the utilization of psychotherapy and medications to help manage the onset of depressive episodes.

Hopefully you now have a clearer understanding of some of the variations of depression that exist and how they happen to differ from one another. Each form should be taken seriously, and if you suspect that you are experiencing any type of depression, be sure to reach out to a licensed mental health professional so you can reach a diagnosis and be treated accordingly if necessary. There is thankfully a fair amount of knowledge surrounding depression and the best treatment options for the assorted types, and you should never hesitate to reach out to a trusted individual so that you do not end up braving it alone if you suspect that you are experiencing any symptoms that are related to depression.


Getting Help

If you or a loved one are struggling with any form of depression, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of compassionate and qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication management, our highly qualified team specializes in anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and adults. In-person appointments are available to patients in the Southlake (DFW) area. Online appointments are available to patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston, and San Antonio areas.

Dr. Michael Messina

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