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You are here: Home Depression Types of Depression

Types of Depression

Major depression

Major depression is when a large number of the symptoms of depression are present, and considerably intense or severe. It can occur as a one-off episode, or several times during a lifetime (recurrent depression). It affects daily activities such as sleeping, eating, studying, work and activities; previously these were enjoyable, but now they are no longer pleasurable. Major depression responds well to treatment, and many people manage to overcome it with careful treatment.

Major depression can occur as a result of a single traumatic event in someone’s life, or it can manifest itself slowly through a series of personal disappointments or problems. Some people develop the symptoms of major depression without any obvious causes.

Dysthymic depression

Dysthymic depression is characterised by the occurrence of a depressed mood virtually every day; it often lasts for a minimum of two years. It is a low-to-moderate form of depression, with less severe symptoms than major depression; the symptoms are, however, harder to treat. Dysthymic depression symptoms do not affect daily life, but do cause distress and interference with some aspects of it. Psychotherapy is often effective in the treatment of dysthymic depression; some people also respond well to antidepressants.

Unspecified depression

This diagnosis is made when a person's symptoms are not severe enough to be classed as major depression, and the individual has not had the symptoms for long enough to be diagnosed as having dysthymic depression. If someone is obviously depressed, yet does not fit into any of the usual categories, then a diagnosis of unspecified will usually be made.

Adjustment disorder, with depression

This is also known as reactive depression, and occurs as a direct result of a traumatic event or crisis. If the symptoms are severe enough, then a more serious diagnosis of major depression will be made.

Bipolar depression

Bipolar depression (manic depression) is characterised by cycles of highs (mania) and lows (depression) in conjunction with other symptoms that are not present in other forms of depression. Mood-cycles can occur rapidly or over lengthy periods of time, with all the symptoms of a depressive disorder displayed during a low stage, and excessive energy, over-talkativeness and overactiveness apparent during a high stage. The manic stage can affect social behaviour, judgement and ways of thinking that cause severe problems such as getting into debt through excessive spending, substance misuse, the holding down of a job, and relationship problems.

Treatment for bipolar disorder is available, although during manic episodes a sufferer tends not to think that they need treatment, often stopping or refusing treatment. If mania is left untreated, it may develop into psychosis.

 

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You are here: Home Depression Types of Depression