Hello! I have been blogging and creating videos about my experiences with depression for almost 4 years now. Mostly it has been about my own experiences with it and how I have managed to cope with my depression. I find that when the word “depression” is used, it can confuse a lot of people. When one person is talking about depression Did you know that there are 9 different types of depression that you can officially be diagnosed with? In today’s post I want to spread the knowledge of these types to help people feel not alone in their experiences.
What is Depression?
Before we can start talking about the different types of depression, we need to talk about what depression truly is. Depression can mean different things to different people.
Not everyone who experiences depression experiences it the same. Some of the most common symptoms of depression are feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest of things once loved, troubles with sleeping and eating, and thoughts of death or suicide. Symptoms last anywhere between a few weeks to years depending on the type of depression being experienced. So the word “depression” is an umbrella term for these 9 different types of depression that we will be talking about down below.
Types of Depression
This is the most common type of depression with 7% of the U.S. population experiencing this at any given time. Extreme sadness, hopelessness, lack of sleep and eating, and even suicidal thoughts are very common with this type of depression. Major depression has to last more than two weeks and some people only experience one episode.
About 2% of our population has dysthymia. Dysthymia is when someone experiences a very chronic and long-term depression. It can last anywhere between a few months to a few years.The symptoms of dysthymia are similar to major depression but less severe. You also do not have waves of depression but rather are always in a low mood.
This is when mothers experience depression symptoms after they give birth. This type of depression is not talked about in today’s society. When you give birth to an infant it is suppose to be one of the most joyful times in your life. This is not the case for some women. 85% of new mothers experience some sort of sadness after birth but there is a percentage of women were it gets so bad that it develops into depression. Symptoms are similar to other types of depression as well as they fear they will hurt the infant, not connect with it, or even be a bad mother.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
SAD is when someone experiences depression symptoms but only during certain months out of the year. SAD is most commonly felt in the Winter when the days get colder and we start spending more time inside. People with this types of depression sleep more, eat more, are more irritable, and even become suicidal during the cold winter months. 4-6% of Americans experience this every year.
Don’t let the name fool you! Atypical depression is more common than it sounds. According to doctors, atypical depression is not fully understood and very under diagnosed. Signs of this type of depression could be heaviness in the limbs, arms, and legs, over eating and sleeping, weight gain, and relationship problems. A person with atypical depression will see their mood improve when something positive happens to them.
Psychosis is a mental state characterized by false beliefs (delusions) and false sights and sounds (hallucinations). According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 20% individuals who experience depression can get so bad that they start hearing or believing things that are not real. These individuals can become catatonic where they don’t want to move, speak, or even get out of bed.
There are three different types of bipolar disorder: bipolar 1, bipolar 2, and cyclothymia. Bipolar disorder is when someone bounces from one of two different emotions. When someone suffering with bipolar disorder is in a high mood this is called mania. Mania is when someone has racing thoughts, poor judgement, and lots of energy. A low mood would be considered a depressive episode where the individual experiences symptoms of depression. Someone with bipolar disorder can bounce from these two emotions 2-3 times a year.
This is also known as adjustment disorder. Situational depression can be triggered by a traumatic event, death in the family, loss of a job, and even a bad break up. This is different from the other types of depression because symptoms generally don’t last that long. However, if left untreated situational depression can lead to major depression.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is a relatively new diagnosis that went into the latest edition of the DSM. PMDD is when someone experiences premenstrual symptoms two weeks before their period instead of the typical 2-3 days before. During these two weeks before the period a woman can have extreme premenstrual symptoms (bloating, fatigue, headaches, boob tenderness) as well as depression symptoms. These depression symptoms can get so severe that they can lead to suicidal thoughts. A lot of people did not believe that this disorder was real and that is why it is so great that it finally has a diagnosis.