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There Are Different Types of Depression

The term “clinical depression” is tossed around quite a lot as if people believe that there is only one kind of depression.  But what most people do not realize is that, like with anxiety, there are several different kinds of depression.  There is some overlap between the different types of depression, but they have very distinct criteria that defines each one.  Typically, the differences in the criteria for defining each form of depression comes in the severity of the symptoms, triggering events, co-occurring symptoms, and many other factors.  Understanding the differences is important because the treatment for each type of depression is different as well.  There is no type of treatment that is the going to be approached in the same way for each type of depression.

Major Depressive Disorder

Millions of people are afflicted by Major Depressive Disorder.  Major depressive disorder can onset gradually or suddenly.  The key symptoms of major depressive disorder is that the sufferer experiences depression ranging in severity from mild to debilitating for at least two weeks solid.  Often, it lasts quite a bit longer.  While it is possible for major depressive disorder to be an isolated incident in the life of the sufferer, it is more likely to be an ongoing battle.

Some of the other symptoms of major depressive disorder include:

  • a loss of energy
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • feeling run down
  • insomnia or hypersomnia
  • changes in weight and appetite
  • difficulty thinking and concentration
  • trouble making decisions
  • loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities
  • depressed mood.

Typically, therapists believe that in order for a patient to have major depressive disorder, he or she needs to exhibit at least five of the symptoms mentioned above.

Bipolar Disorder With Depressed Mood

Another one of the biggest types of depression is Bipolar Disorder with Depressed Mood.  Sometimes this is referred to as manic depression or bipolar depression.  This type of depression is much like major depressive disorder.  It presents with similar symptoms, and the criteria for diagnosis is the same; , the sufferer will have had at least one episode of mania or hypomania.  Mania and hypomania are described as including unusually high levels of energy, feelings of grandiosity, limited sleep, and excessive participation in activities that are highly pleasurable.  With bipolar disorder with depressed mood, the depressive episode usually directly follows a manic or hypomanic episode.

Dysthymic Disorder

Dysthymic Disorder is also similar to major depressive disorder, but is it generally less severe.  Dysthymic disorder suffers are typically diagnosed when they have experienced symptoms for at least two years and present with at least two of the average symptoms which include a sense of hopelessness, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite or chronic overeating, fatigue, low self-esteem, and problems concentrating or decision making.  Without the proper treatment, it is possible that the symptoms of dysthymic disorder will persist for years.

Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood

Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood is usually a short term affliction, but can linger for a long time without the proper treatment.  When life gives us stressful events, it can sometimes be difficult to adjust to a new situation or change the ways that we operate in order to accommodate a new situation.  Often adjustment disorder is caused by a single significant personal loss such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one.  It can also be caused by several events that happen over a shorter period of time.  This can potentially create an adjustment disorder with depressed mood.  The symptoms are problematic enough to disrupt the regular life of the person suffering, but they do not meet the criteria for a major depressive disorder.

Get A Professional Opinion About Your Type Of Depression

Clearly, the symptoms for all of these depressive disorders and the other depressive disorders that are not mentioned have a certain amount of overlap, yet they all have distinct criteria that separates them from each other.  The treatment for each kind of disorder is usually therapy and medication, but the methods and the medications used are different for each type of depression.  There are also many new and different kinds of therapies that are being tried and tested for use with these different kinds of conditions.

The most important thing is to get the right kind of treatment for the type of depression that needs to be treated – determining what type of depression a person is dealing is best left to professionals. Contact our office to set up an appointment. We are here to help.

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