Types Of Depression & Their Symptoms

Hey, welcome to my blog post. In this post, I am going to discuss TYPES OF DEPRESSION & THEIR SYMPTOMS.



Everyone feels sad and down from time to time. But if the sadness is prolonged and is distressing to the individual it becomes concerning. In simple words, this persistent mood primarily feeling sad is called depression. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. This disorder affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to various physical and emotional problems. There are different types of depression categorized on the basis of their prominent symptoms and their duration.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
This is the most known type of depression. Generally known as clinical depression, major depressive disorder is a type of depression characterized by symptoms present for at least two weeks such as:

Persistent low mood
Lack of interest in pleasurable activities
Changes in weight
Changes in sleep
Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
Difficulty concentrating
Thought about death and suicide

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
Formerly known as Dysthymia, persistent depressive disorder refers to the type of depression in which the symptoms present for at least two years. It can be mild, moderate, or severe.

A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have periods of less severe symptoms but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a pervasive depressive disorder.

PDD symptoms include:

Feelings of sadness
Loss of interest and pleasure
Anger and irritability
Feelings of guilt
Low self-esteem
Difficulty falling or staying asleep
Sleeping excessively
Feelings of hopelessness
Fatigue and lack of energy
Changes in appetite
Difficulty in concentration

Bipolar Affective Disorder (BPAD)
Bipolar disorder is a mood characterized by variations in mood in terms of extremely high or elevated mood and extremely low or depressive mood. The periods of elevated mood are called mania and they can be mild (hypomania) or they can be extreme causing substantial distress and impairment in the individual’s functioning.

The symptoms of depressive episodes are similar to the ones experienced in major depressive disorder. The symptoms of mania are outlined below:

Extremely elevated mood
Increased activity, energy or agitation
Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
Decreased need for sleep
Unusual talkativeness
Racing thoughts
Poor decision-making — for example, going on buying sprees, taking sexual risks, etc.

Postpartum Depression (PPD)
This type of depression is specific to women as it occurs after pregnancy. Pregnancy can bring about significant hormonal shifts that can often affect a woman’s moods. Women with postpartum depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery. The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that the woman experiences during PPD make it difficult for new mothers to undertake daily activities for themselves and/or for their baby. Postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.

Symptoms can include:
Low mood, feelings of sadness
Severe mood swings
Social withdrawal
Trouble bonding with the baby
Appetite changes
Feeling helpless and hopeless
Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
Feeling inadequate or worthless
Anxiety and panic attacks
Thoughts of hurting oneself or the baby
Thoughts of suicide

Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that varies according to the season pattern. It is sometimes known as winter depression as the symptoms become more apparent and more severe during winter. The symptoms usually occur during the autumn and winter months when there is less sunlight and usually improve with the arrival of spring.

Symptoms of SAD are:
Persistent low mood
Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
Feeling lethargic or lacking energy (esp during winters)
Sleeping for longer than normal and feeling exhausted after waking up (during winters and insomnia is common during summers)
Overeating, particularly with a craving for carbohydrates (during winter, and loss of appetite during summer)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It consists of both physical and psychological symptoms but prominently the psychological ones.

These psychological symptoms are more severe than those associated with PMS. For example, some people might feel more emotional in the days leading up to their period. Similarly to perinatal depression, PMDD may relate to hormonal changes. The symptoms often begin just after ovulation and start to ease up once the woman gets her period.

Symptoms of PMDD include:
Breast tenderness
Joint and muscle pain
Sadness and despair
Irritability and anger
Extreme mood swings
Food cravings or binge eating
Lack of energy
Trouble focusing
Sleep problems

If these symptoms are persistent and the management of symptoms is difficult, then the individual should seek the help of a mental health professional.

Dr Aarti Midha

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