One of the biggest misconceptions about depression is that there is only one type and that if affects everyone the same. In reality, there are multiple different types of depression and everyone experiences different symptoms. Severity and depression are the two biggest factors in determining if someone has clinical depression and what kind.
Major Depressive Disorder
Someone feeling depressed for most days of the week characterizes major depressive disorder. It has a variety of symptoms that affect a person’s ability to work, sleep, eat and enjoy daily life. Major depression can appear in a single episode but most people have multiple episodes throughout their life.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent depressive disorder is depression that lasts for more than two years. A person with persistent depressive disorder can either have dysthymia, which is low-grade but persistent depression, or chronic major depression. The key difference between persistent depression and major depression is the length of time.
Bipolar disorder is commonly known but what many people don’t know is that it’s a form of depression. This disorder is also called “manic depression” because people who suffer from it have extreme mood changes. They shift, often quickly, between manic episodes of high energy and happiness and low periods of heavy depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is depression that occurs typically in the winter months from the lack of sunlight. Many people with SAD only experience it during the winter and it goes away during the sunny spring and summer months. A lot of people are actually affected by SAD to some degree but for some it becomes serious.
Psychotic depression is severe depression where psychosis appears alongside typical depression symptoms. The most common psychosis symptoms that appear are hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there), paranoia and delusions (false beliefs).
Postpartum depression happens after a woman has given birth. Most women experience “baby blues” but if the feeling persists for more than two weeks it could be postpartum. This type of depression not only impacts a woman’s daily life but it affects their ability to take care of and bond with their new child.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing depression then reach out to one of Florida’s top psychiatrists to help you.