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Feeling Low? Know The Types Of Depression And How To Recognize The Condition

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects millions around the world. But there are several types of depression and you should know about them.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : December 29, 2021 11:07 AM IST

Depression is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world, and the pandemic has only made things worse. The outrageous consequences of the pandemic that hit the world in December 2019 led many to the dangerous pit of stress, anxiety and depression. Depression (major depressive disorder) is a widespread and significant medical condition that has a negative impact on how you feel, think, and behave. However, it can be treated. Depression produces unhappiness and/or a loss of interest in previously appreciated activities. It can cause a slew of mental and physical issues, as well as a reduction in your capacity to operate at work and at home.

How To Recognize Depression?

The condition may vary from mild to severe and can include several symptoms, including:

  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in previous activities
  • Change in appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Problems in sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Inability to concentrate, think or make decisions
  • Suicide or death thoughts

Types Of Depression

Some of the most common types of depression include:

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Major depression

You may have serious depression, also known as clinical depression if you feel dismal and despair all of the time. It is defined by a gloomy mood throughout the day, especially in the mornings, and a loss of interest in typical activities and relationships symptoms that last at least two weeks. You may also have other symptoms with serious depression, which could include:

  • You might experience lethargy every day
  • Having constant feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Concentration problems and indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Problems concentrating
  • Anhedonia loss of interest in all activities
  • Feeling agitated
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Weight gain or loss

Persistent depressive disorder

PDD (persistent depressive disorder) is a type of long-term depression. Dysthymia and persistent major depressive disorder are two older diagnoses that are combined in this word. Persons with PDD, like people with other types of depression, may feel very sad and hopeless. While these symptoms appear in all forms of depression, they can last for years in PDD. These symptoms are persistent, which is why they might hinder your personal or professional relationships. However, treating PDD with a combination of medication and treatment can be effective.

PDD has symptoms that are similar to depression. PDD, on the other hand, is a chronic condition in which symptoms occur on most days for at least two years. Common symptoms of PDD include:

  • Feeling depressed throughout the day
  • Having trouble sleeping or staying asleep
  • Lack of energy
  • Low self-confidence
  • Lack of concentration or inability to make decisions
  • Feeling hopeless

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental health illness that involves emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). You may feel gloomy or hopeless when you are depressed, and you may lose interest or pleasure in most activities. You may feel ecstatic, full of energy, or abnormally irritable when your mood switches to mania or hypomania (a milder form of mania). Sleep, energy, activity, judgement, conduct, and the ability to think clearly can all be affected by mood fluctuations.

Mood swings might happen once a year or several times a year. While the majority of people will have some emotional symptoms in between bouts, some will not. Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong diagnosis, following a treatment plan might help you control your mood swings and other symptoms.

Depressive psychosis

According to reports, 20 per cent who have major depression may also have psychotic symptoms this is known as depressive psychosis. You will feel psychotic symptoms as well as the despair and hopelessness associated with depression if you have this disorder. This refers to perceiving, hearing, smelling, or believing in things that aren't true. Depressive psychosis is particularly harmful since the delusions might lead to suicidal thoughts.

Depressive psychosis is characterised by significant depression as well as psychotic symptoms. When you experience bad feelings that impair your daily life, you are said to be depressed. These emotions can include the following:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Guilt
  • Changes in eating patterns

Some examples of psychotic symptoms that a person with depressive psychosis may experience include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia

Perinatal/postpartum depression

Some new mothers suffer from postpartum depression, which is a more severe and long-lasting form of depression. After childbirth, an intense mental illness known as postpartum psychosis may occur. Postpartum depression isn't a shortcoming or a weakness in anyone's character. Sometimes it's just a side effect of giving birth. If you suffer from postpartum depression, getting help as soon as possible will help you manage your symptoms and bond with your baby.

People tend to confuse postpartum depression with baby blues, but the signs and symptoms are more severe in this case and stay longer. The signs and symptoms of this form of depression include:

  • Depressed mood or extreme mood swings
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Not able to bond with your infant
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Irritation
  • Fear of not being a good mother
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or remorse
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Suicidal or self-harming thoughts
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Seasonal depression

Known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it is a type of depression that is linked to seasonal changes. SAD occurs at roughly the same period each year. If you're like the majority of SAD sufferers, your symptoms begin in the fall and last through the winter, sapping your energy and making you cranky. These symptoms usually go away in the spring and summer. SAD can cause depression in the spring or early summer, but it usually goes away in the fall or winter.

Symptoms may vary for different reasons but common symptoms of SAD include:

  • Feeling sad most of the time
  • Losing interest in activities
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experience carb cravings
  • Weight gain due to overeating
  • Hopelessness
  • Have thoughts of living anymore

Situational depression

Also known as reactive depression, this type of depression lasts for a brief period of time and is caused by stress. It might arise as a result of a traumatic event or chain of events. A type of adjustment disorder is situation depression. It can be difficult to return to your normal routine after a distressing occurrence. Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Feeling sad
  • Not able to enjoy normal events
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Crying regularly
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Inability to focus
  • Lack of appetite
  • Not able to carry daily activities
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Avoiding social gatherings
  • Not wanting to go to work or school or college
  • Suicidal thoughts

Low-grade depression

A sign of persistent depressive disorder (PDD), formerly known as dysthymia or dysthymic disorder, is chronic low-grade depression. The signs and symptoms of PDD are remarkably similar to those of major depressive illness, with the exception that they are milder and more persistent. The following are symptoms of this type of depression:

  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy
  • feelings of hopelessness or guilt
  • lack of enjoyment
  • low energy levels
  • restlessness
  • sadness or frequent crying
  • problems sleeping
  • suicidal thoughts
  • inability to focus or make decisions

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