Forms of Depression

In 2004, roughly 57 million people 18 and older were diagnosed with some form of mood or depressive disorder. It’s important to understand that there is no single type of depression, and each form presents itself in different ways. Major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and dysthymic depression are among the most common forms of depression. Seasonal affective disorder and postpartum depression are other, more focused forms of depression. No matter what form of depression you have, however, you can benefit from knowing more about it and how it can be handled.

Common Types of Depression

The following are considered to be three of the more common forms of depression:

Major Depressive Disorder: Classified as major depression, if you suffer from major depressive disorder, you will find it difficult to continue performing daily activities. Major depressive disorder is classified by persistent, severe sadness, changes to daily routines and an increasing inability to obtain joy from your life. This form of depression can occur at any time in your life and has been proven to affect women more often than men.

Dysthymic Disorder: If you’ve experienced symptoms of depression for more than two years, you may have dysthymia. Dysthymia is considered to be long-term, mild depression that may not severely impact the everyday function of your life. With dysthymia, you may feel sad, tired or irritable, and you might find less enjoyment in activities you once loved but you are still able to participate in daily events.

Bipolar Disorder: Also known as manic depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is marked by extreme “highs” and terrible “lows.” Almost six million people in the US are diagnosed with manic depression each year. During manic phases, you may feel euphoric, intensely happy and even hyperactive. After this phase ends, however, you can feel sad, lethargic and even withdraw from your normal activities. If left untreated, you risk causing yourself harm during a low swing.

While these three forms of depression are certainly some of the most prevalent, a number of other types of depression exist. The following forms of depression occur in specific circumstances and can be quite severe in nature.

Specialized Forms of Depression

Pyschotic Depression: Coupled with hallucinations or delusions, this type of depression is quite serious. Psychotic depression occurs when you are no longer able to deal with reality.

Postpartum Depression:Postpartum depression occurs in 10 to 15 percent of new mothers after giving birth. This form of depression can be severe because it not only affects the mother, but also her child.

Seasonal Affective Disorder: Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that occurs during winter months when the body is exposed to less sunlight. In many cases, the depression goes away or becomes less severe once the spring months arrive.

Finding Treatment for Any Form of Depression

You have a number of treatment options at your disposal. If you’d like to know more about depression treatment, call our 24-hour helpline.