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  • Dr. Sheba Singh

Understanding The Types Of Depression

Despite how it seems depression has not become all too common these days; it has always been a problem in all of history. The only difference is that it has now been legitimized and recognized as a serious illness. Fortunately, the recognition also comes with the understanding that depression is treatable and with the right therapy and/or medication, one can expect to live a relatively normal life.

Before we begin our investigation into the treatment for depression, let us explore the types of depression and their symptoms.

Types of depression:

1. Major Depression

Symptoms of major depression can be intense sadness, constant feeling of hopelessness, sadness, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, weight loss or weight gain, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, fatigue, suicidal ideation, lack of sleep or excessive sleep, lack of concentration. The symptoms across all type of depression remain similar but in varying degrees.

2. Bipolar Disorder

A patient suffering from bipolar disorder experiences extreme episodes of changes in mood. This mood change can range from high energy levels (mania) to low, depressive episodes. During the low phase, the patient experiences symptoms of major (clinical) depression. Stages of mania may make the patient highly impulsive, hyper-active, aggressive, or prone to feelings of superiority or invincibility.

3. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

The appropriately named acronym is more common during winter months when the patient goes through clinical depression. Some causes can be attributed to the fact that winters usually have longer nights which means lack of sunlight may be a probable cause. However, people affected with SAD can get the help they need by seeing a therapist/psychologist. Exposure to light for 20-30 minutes in the form of light therapy is also shown to help considerably.

4. Peripartum (Post-partum) Depression

Reportedly, 1 in 7 women go through major depression in the weeks and months after childbirth. Peripartum depression is a serious illness but also a treatable one. New mothers suffering from this might feel extreme sadness, indifference, anxiety. They may also experience changes in energy levels, sleep cycles and appetite.

5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Women suffering from PMDD suffer from depression at the start of their periods. In addition to depression, women with PMDD may also experience irregular sleep, and mood swings.

Remember that it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed.

If you or your loved one is suffering from depression or showing signs of depression, please ensure you take the right steps to recovery.

Usually, the stigma around depression, which still exists to a certain degree, can make it difficult to deal with depression especially if a loved one is showing signs. In order to understand this condition, it is important to help other understand depression and spread awareness about it. Depression is a serious condition, but it is also a treatable one. Delaying the help can only make things worse.


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