Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people around the world. Although it’s a common condition, depression can manifest in different ways, making it challenging to diagnose and treat effectively. There are several major types of depression that are characterized by different symptoms, severities, and treatments. While understanding the major types of depression can help those dealing with this condition, it’s important to consult a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment.
Are There Different Types of Depression?
Yes—there are different types of depression. Each type can have unique characteristics and symptoms. It’s possible to have more than one type of depression and experience a mixture of symptoms. Without identifying the type of depression, it can be challenging to receive the appropriate treatment to manage it effectively.
Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, including chemical imbalances, brain chemistry, genetics, and situations like grief and loss, drug or alcohol use, hormonal changes, or illness. It’s important to understand your individual situation in order to get the right form of treatment. For example, if you have a family history of depression, then it may be helpful to talk to your doctor about genetic testing.
Breaking Down the Major Types of Depression
Here are five of the major types of depression and their symptoms:
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder is the most common type of depression, with symptoms lasting at least two weeks. Symptoms of major depressive disorder include feeling sad, hopeless, or empty, having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, and losing interest in things you once enjoyed.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, is a chronic form of depression that lasts for at least two years. Symptoms of dysthymia include feeling depressed most of the time, having low energy or fatigue, and having a poor appetite.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, typically emerges during the winter months when there is less natural light. Symptoms of SAD include low mood, irritability, oversleeping, and overeating.
Postpartum depression affects women who have given birth. Symptoms include feeling sad, crying for no reason, losing interest in your baby, and having scary or negative thoughts about the baby.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that includes depressive episodes and mania or hypomania. Symptoms of depressive episodes are similar to those of major depressive disorder, but during a manic episode, individuals may feel euphoric or have a heightened sense of self-importance, decreased need for sleep, and excessive talking.
The Most Effective Depression Treatment Options
Depression is a treatable condition. Treatment may include a combination of medication and therapy. Certain antidepressants can help stabilize mood and relieve symptoms of depression. Talk therapy, like cognitive-behavioral therapy, can help address underlying emotional issues and prevent future depressive episodes. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy as well as Spravato® nasal spray for those struggling with treatment-resistant depression. Exercise, self-help strategies, and changes to your lifestyle and daily routines can also be helpful.
Signs you would benefit from depression treatment include:
- Feeling sad, anxious, or empty most days
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite and weight
Finding the right depression treatment plan can take some trial and error, and it’s important to have patience as you work with your mental health specialist.
Call Columbia Associates Today for Depression Treatment
If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, please seek professional help. Our team at Columbia Associates is here to support you in your journey to mental health recovery. We understand that each person is unique, and our experienced therapists and psychiatric professionals offer personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today by calling 703.682.8208 or reach out online to schedule an appointment.