Are There Different Types of Depression? | ZwavelStream.co.za
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Are There Different Types of Depression?

The short answer to this question, is yes. For a deeper explanation, it’s important to understand that depression is so much more than all-consuming sadness neatly fitting under a single umbrella diagnosis. It’s feeling really low when your studies get the better of you, or struggling to adapt to motherhood after a new baby, or not being able to come up for air after a loved one dies. But also, it’s more than just sadness. Depression affects your thinking, feelings, your day- to-day life, and ranges from persistent and severe, to mild and temporary episodes. And as much as the symptoms of depression may vary from person to person, so do the diagnoses.

Depression is one condition but with many different ways of showing up – from Baby Blues to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is only through understanding the various faces of depression that a proper diagnosis can start you on the road to treatment and better management of this often debilitating condition.

Different Types of Depression

Some of the various types of depression include:

  • Major Depression
  • Dysthymia
  • Postpartum Depression (Baby Blues)
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Atypical Depression
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Situational Depression

Major Depression is one of the most common types of depression, with symptoms of hopelessness, extreme sadness, irritability, lethargy, loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, lack of concentration, changes in eating and sleep patterns, chronic physical pain, and recurring dark thoughts of suicide. Usually when at least five of these symptoms last for more than two weeks, a diagnosis of major depression (or clinical depression) is made.

Seasonal Affective Disorder can be described as an extreme winter weariness. You feel depressed most of the time, gain weight, and have no interest in social activities during winter months. But SAD is more than just some funk, and symptoms include fatigue during the day, heightened anxiety, and irritability. These symptoms tend to set in at the start of winter and subside when spring rolls around.

Despite the implications of its name, Atypical Depression is another common type of depression and one that mental health professionals believe to be underdiagnosed. The main symptoms of this form of depression are a kind of paralysis presenting as heaviness in the arms and legs that tends to occur when oversleeping or overeating – also significant signs of atypical depression. People with this type of depression will experience weight gain, increased irritability, oversensitivity to rejection, and relationship problems.

Psychosis is a mental state marked by hallucinations and delusions. Psychotic Depression occurs in some people with very severe depression, where they experience false sights, sounds, delusions, and may even become catatonic in some cases.

Situational Depression is considered a temporary form of depression brought on by stressful events, like the death of a loved one, losing your job, a bad breakup, or trauma. Symptoms include anxiety and excessive sadness that usually clear up over time. In some cases however, these symptoms could become worse and develop into major depression.

In order to receive adequate depression treatment, it’s important that you speak to your doctor about your unique experience so that a proper diagnosis can be made.

The Good News About Depression

Yes, there is good news and it’s that in any and all types of depression, there is treatment available. Depression isn’t something you have to live with forever in a constant downward spiral. You can overcome the struggle and go on to live a fully satisfying life. There’s no shame in seeking help for depression and you don’t have to suffer alone in silence indefinitely. We know that the thought of opening up might seem like an insurmountable task when you’re feeling at your lowest, but acceptance and sharing is the first and most important step to healing. There is nothing you have done to cause your condition. Depression is nobody’s ‘fault’. And in your time of feeling worthless, hopeless, and ashamed, a good support system is invaluable.

Knowing that you are not alone, that there are others going through the same or similar struggles, that family and friends are there to listen when you need it… this makes a significant impact on your journey to better mental health. It takes great courage to come forward and share your experience, and this kind of courage always pays off – through support from loved ones who better understand your condition, and the guided care of mental health professionals.

Our team at ZwavelStream Clinic is sensitive to this internal struggle that sometimes plagues people suffering from depression, and is entirely committed to providing the highest dedicated care. If you feel that you need treatment for depression, or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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