Types Of Depression
It's normal to feel down once in a while, but if you're sad most of the time and it affects your daily life, you may have clinical depression . You can manage it with medication and therapy.
There are several types of depression. You can experience some depression through life events, but chemical changes within your brain may cause other types.
No matter the cause of your depression, you should first let your doctor know what's going on. They may refer you to a mental health specialist to help figure out the type of depression you have. The diagnosis will help you choose the appropriate treatment.
You may hear your doctor call this " major depressive disorder." If you experience depression most days, this could be a sign of major depressive disorder.
Other symptoms that you may be experiencing include:
- You lose interest in or enjoyment from your hobbies
- Losing weight or gaining weight
- Sleep problems or difficulty falling asleep during the night
- Feeling restless and agitated, or else very sluggish and slowed down physically or mentally
- Tired and lacking energy
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Trouble with concentration or taking decisions?
- Suicide thoughts
If you experience five of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, your doctor may diagnose you as having major depression. A depressive mood or loss interest in activity must at least be one of the symptoms.
People with major depression may have different experiences. It could look different depending on the way you feel about your depression.
Anxious distress. You are restless and anxious most of the time. It's difficult to concentrate because of your fear that an awful thing could happen. You feel as though you might loose control.
Melancholy. Melancholy is a feeling of sadness that causes you to lose interest in activities and hobbies that you once enjoyed. Even when you have good fortune, it can still make you feel awful. It is possible to:
Feeling particularly low in the mornings. Lose weight. Suicidal thoughts. It might be worth asking someone to help with the first tasks of your day. You should eat even when you feel full.
Agitated. You are often uneasy. It is possible to also feel:
- Talk about a lot
- You can't move to do nothing, such as fidgeting and moving around in the room.
- Act impulsively
Talk therapy can help
You'll meet with a mental health specialist who will help you find ways to manage your depression. You may also find antidepressants useful.
Your doctor could suggest these options if medication and therapy fail to work.
ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Vagus Neuroe Stimulation(VNS) ECT employs electrical pulses while VNS utilizes an implanted device and TMS uses a particular kind of magnet. Each is designed to stimulate specific areas of the brain. The brain areas that influence your mood are better stimulated.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
If you have depression that lasts for 2 years or longer, it's called persistent depressive disorder. The term was previously used to refer to two types of depression: chronic major depression and dysthymia, which is low-grade persistent depressive disorder.
You might experience symptoms like:
- Increase your appetite.
- Too much, too little sleep
- Energy deficiency or fatigue
- A low self-esteem
- Trouble concentration and making decisions
- Feeling hopeless
- The treatment options available to you include medication or psychotherapy.
Someone with bipolar disorder, which is also sometimes called "manic depression," has mood episodes that range from extremes of high energy with an "up" mood to low "depressive" periods.
You'll experience the signs of major depression when you're experiencing the low phase.
Your mood swings can be controlled with medication. Your doctor might recommend a mood stabilizer such as lithium, regardless of whether you are in high or low periods.
Three medications have been approved by the FDA to address depression
- Olanzapine-fluoxetine combination
Sometimes, doctors will prescribe drugs that are not listed on the label for bipolar disorder. These include the anticonvulsant Lamotrigine and the unusual antipsychotic Vraylar.
Traditional antidepressants are not always recommended as first-line treatments for bipolar depression because there's no proof from studies that these drugs are more helpful than a placebo (a sugar pill) in treating depression in people with bipolar disorder. Also, for a small percentage of people with bipolar disorder, some traditional antidepressants may increase the risk of causing a "high" phase of illness, or speeding up the frequency of having more episodes over time.
You and your family can benefit from psychotherapy.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a period of major depression that most often happens during the winter months, when the days grow short and you get less and less sunlight. It usually disappears in the summer and spring.
SAD can be treated with antidepressants. Also, light therapy can help. A special, bright box with a light source will be provided for you to use.
Psychotic patients may also experience major depression symptoms and "psychotic" symptoms such as:
Psychotic depression can be treated with a combination of antidepressant drugs and antipsychotic medications. ECT might also be an option.
Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression
Peripartum depression is a condition that affects women who experience major depression within the first few weeks or months following childbirth. Around 1 out 10 men experience depression during the postpartum period. Similar to major depression, antidepressant medications can also be used to treat it.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD affects women who experience depression or other mood disorders at the beginning of their periods.
Not only can you feel sad, but there are other symptoms as well.
- Feeling moody
- Concentration problems
- You can make a change in your appetite and sleep habits
- Feeling overwhelmed
PMDD can be treated with antidepressant medications or oral contraceptives.
The 'Situational Depression'
In psychiatry, this is not an actual term. But you can have a depressed mood when you're having trouble managing a stressful event in your life, such as a death in your family, a divorce, or losing your job. Your doctor may call this "stress response syndrome."
Psychotherapy can often help you get through a period of depression that's related to a stressful situation.
This is a different type from typical depression, which can cause persistent sadness. This is a type of "specifier", which describes depressive symptoms. Positive events can temporarily help with atypical depressive symptoms.
Atypical depression can also manifest as:
- Appetite increases
- More sleep than normal
- Feelings of heavyness in the arms and legs
- Too sensitive to criticism
An antidepressant may be helpful. As the first line treatment, your doctor might recommend an SSRI (selective serotone reuptake inhibit) type.
Sometimes, they may recommend an antidepressant known as an MAOI (monoamine-oxidase inhibit), an older antidepressant that is well-studied for treating depression atypical.
Resistance to Depression Treatment
About 1/3 people with depression have tried multiple treatment options without success. You might be suffering from treatment-resistant depression. Your depression could be resistant to treatment for many reasons. You might also have another condition that makes it difficult for you to manage your depression.
A doctor could recommend alternative treatments if treatment resistance is a diagnosis. In this case, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), can sometimes be very helpful.