Do you ever feel down in the dumps for a longer period of time?

Most people do.

Ever feel a sense of utter frustration and despair without hope of improvement?

Possibly?

Well, you might be suffering from depression.

Everyone feels sad at times, but when this sadness lasts for a long period of time and it affects your functioning and behavior it’s often a sign of depression.

Depression is a severe medical disorder that can put negative effects on how you think and react to any situation.

So are you depressed?

Here are 5 common types of depression to help you get a better idea.

1) Major Depressive Disorder

Clinical depression is also known as Major Depressive Disorder or MDD.

It is also called as a mood disorder.

Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms Include:

  • Lack of interest in even normal activities
  • Depressed behaviour
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Fatigueness
  • The feeling of guilt and worthlessness
  • Difficult in concentrating

While the exact causes of MDD are not known, various other factors can increase the risk of MDD.

Factors that increase the risk of MDD include:

  • Family history of mental illness
  • Major life changes
  • Psychological factors like low self-esteem
  • Socioeconomic status or perceived status
  • Little or no social support
  • Certain medications

These affect the chemistry of the brain, which in turn reduces the brain's ability to stabilize mood.

2) Persistent Depressive Disorder Or Dysthymia

Persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia is a long-term, chronic form of depression.

You might lose interest in doing daily activities, feel hopeless and also experience low self-esteem.

People with PDD might find it difficult to be happy during special occasions like birthdays, holidays etc.

They could be referred to as “gloomy”. 

Changes in the brain’s functionality and chemistry, biological differences, inherited traits and traumatic events are some of the roadblocks in depression treatment.

Further, PDD can occur alone or alongside other psychiatric disorders. For instance, people who suffer from the PDD experience at least one episode of major depression, which is also called double depression.

3) Bipolar Disorder

If the periods of extreme high are followed by the period of extremely low, you are dealing with bipolar disorder.

Previously called manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is usually a mood disorder, with the elevations of mood varying from mild to extreme.

Bipolar disorder has 3 different subtypes

  1. Bipolar l (which has one episode of manic)
  2. Bipolar II (with hypomanic and mild episodes)
  3. Cyclothymic disorder (mood swings combined with mild depression)

Patients with this disorder can benefit from mood stabilizing medications.

*Note: The risk of suicide in bipolar disorder is 15 times higher than in other general disorder, and in the most extreme cases it can even cause Psychosis.

4) Seasonal Affective Disorder

Do you often feel depressed, sleepy, and experience weight gain during the winter only and feel fine in another season?

You might suffering from a condition called seasonal affective disorder or SAD.

It’s a major depressive disorder, that occurs with a seasonal pattern.

It is triggered by the disturbance in the normal circadian rhythm of the brain. When nerve cells hinder the brain functionality of regulating mood, the result is the feeling of depression, with fatigue and weight gain.

5) Atypical Depression

If you don’t fit into any of the boxes above you’re “atypical”

Atypical Depression Symptoms

  • Hypersomia / Excessive Sleeping
  • Incased appetite and weight gain
  • Over-sensitive to rejection (in workplace for example)
  • Rarely positive

Some of the symptoms related to this disorder are intense sensitivity to rejection, excessive sleep, weakness, reactive mood and more.

You’re Not That Special

Like reading a horoscope, it’s easy to relate to some of the depression symptoms above.

Less than 3% of the population in the U.S.A have depression.

So most people aren’t depressed to the point where they need depression medication, TMS treatment, or help from a psychiatrist.

We often like to label ourselves as “depressed” but in all likelihood, we’re just sad.

Do you exercise, eat well, sleep well, have a strong social circle and are still really sad? Then you might be depressed.

If you know someone who might be suffering from depression, talk to them about it and seek help.

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