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Types of Depression

Types of Depression Erlanger - SUN Kentucky

Depression, also commonly referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, can disrupt someone's life who is suffering from it. It is a common mood disorder affecting 22.84% of Kentucky's population.

Various types of depression can happen at different stages in life. But, for the most part, there are eight common types of depression. So, let's discuss each type of depression in depth.

What Are the Different Types of Depression?

Depression is more than sadness. Sadness is a healthy emotion to have and express from time to time. Depression is more than that because it is an obsessive amount of sadness that affects the individual's way of life.

Sadness usually needs a trigger, someone close to them dying, losing a job, losing a pet, or another traumatic event.

A person suffering from depression will be sad or feel hopeless about anything and everything. They will often not be able to experience pleasure from the world or even things they used to take pleasure in.

Eating their favorite foods or watching a television show is no longer enjoyable when suffering from depression. Depression can affect your day-to-day life because it affects how you feel, think, and behave.

Unfortunately, for some people suffering from depression, treatment may not always be easily accessible.

In February 2021, 43.6% of adults in Kentucky reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. 22.8% were incapable of getting needed treatment.

Without proper access to treatment, people with depression may be at a higher risk for suicidal thoughts.

Depression is associated with suicide. Therefore, it is a warning sign for suicide.

It is crucial that you understand the symptoms or warning signs of suicide and take any statements made about suicide seriously.

For example, someone who has suicide ideation may say, "I want to go to sleep and never wake up."

Suppose anyone you know with depression makes any comments similar to that about suicide. In that case, they should seek medical help immediately as they may be a suicide risk.

In Kentucky, 800 lives were lost to suicide, and 157,000 adults had thoughts of suicide in the last year alone.

Depression is a serious and common mood disorder. Next, let's examine some of the different types of depression individuals face.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

Persistent Depressive Disorder, or PDD, is a form of depression that persists for at least two years. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. Usually not as powerful as major depressive disorder.

There may be episodes of time where the symptoms are not as intense, and then they cycle back around.

PDD may include symptoms of:

  • Anger or irritability
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Feeling sad
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in activities
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

Treatment for persistent depressive disorder usually consists of psychotherapy and medications. This disorder typically affects women (1.9%) more so than men (1.0%).

Bipolar Depression Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder where people will have extreme highs and extreme lows. The highs are periods of mania, and the lows are periods of depression.

Some symptoms of bipolar depression disorder may include:

  • Feeling sad and hopeless
  • Loss of pleasure in activities
  • Sleeping too much or not at all
  • Loss of energy
  • Feeling worthless
  • Thinking about suicide

Suicide is a big issue for people who have bipolar disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is relatively common. Usually, it has to do with the fact that the body is not in the sun as often. Serotonin and melatonin levels are lower when you do not get as much sunlight. This type of depression occurs when the seasons change.

For example, some people's SAD would begin in December and last through until March or April. Sometimes referred to as wintertime blues but not to be taken lightly, it is a severe mood condition.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling sad most of the day
  • Having low energy
  • Problems sleeping too often
  • Overeating or weight gain
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling guilt and shame
  • Having thoughts of not wanting to live

Treatment may include light therapy, psychotherapy treatment, and medications.

Most of the time, people with SAD have fall and winter SAD. However, some people have experienced it in the spring and summer, in any case.

Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is a severe form of clinical depression in that people will have hallucinations or other forms of psychosis. Psychosis could be delusions or hallucinations.

Maybe someone has feelings of worthlessness to the point that it breaks them from reality. Or someone could be hearing voices telling them they are worthless. People with psychotic depression have strange ideas and may be out of touch with reality. Maybe they think the cops are looking for them for a crime they didn't commit or that the government is watching their every move from satellites in the sky.

People who suffer from this type of depression may spend a lot of time alone or sleep during the day and stay awake at night. They may neglect personal hygiene.

Some common symptoms of psychotic depression may include:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Hypochondria
  • Low impulse control
  • Laying around often
  • Delusions and or hallucinations
  • Problems with learning or problem solving

Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression

Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression is a type of depression that affects pregnant women or women who just had a baby. This type of depression is severe but is treatable.

Women who have peripartum depression will have feelings of extreme sadness, changes in energy, sleep, and appetite. The mother and child are at risk.

Pregnancy and the period after childbirth are vulnerable times for most women. Mothers go through all kinds of biological and emotional changes during this time.

However, suppose the symptoms only last a week or two after having a child. In that case, it usually is just the baby blues, which is typical for new mothers.

This type of depression is debilitating and can be harmful for months or longer.

Some symptoms of peripartum depression may include:

  • Feeling sad
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep issues
  • An increase in movements like pacing or hand wringing that may be observable by others
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Crying for no reason
  • Feelings of being a bad mother
  • Fear of harming the baby or themselves

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder PMDD is a more severe type of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. It is a chronic mood disorder that affects women of childbearing age.

Symptoms of PMDD usually appear during the week right before menstruation. Therefore, the signs must be severe enough to disrupt daily tasks and only present during menstruation

Bloating, headaches and pain symptoms will be present. Still, alongside these usual PMS symptoms, women with PMDD will have severe anxiety, depression, and maybe even suicidal tendencies.

Some typical symptoms of PMDD may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sadness
  • Acne
  • Poor self-image
  • Backache
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Dizziness

Treatment for PMDD includes birth control medication and antidepressants.

Situational Depression

Situational depression occurs when stress causes symptoms of depression. Situational depression is known as reactive depression.

Usually, after a traumatic event, one can develop short-term stress-related depression. However, sometimes it can be diagnosed as an adjustment disorder with a depressed mood.

Some examples of events that could cause situational depression are:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Getting fired
  • Moving to a new place
  • Relationship issues
  • Car accident
  • An illness
  • School problems

The symptoms of situational depression are the same symptoms that you see with clinical depression. The only difference is that some traumatic life events triggered the depression to occur.

Add a section on Grief. I believe the DSM-V now specifically calls out long-term grief as falling under a depressive disorder.

Prolonged Grief Disorder

Prolonged grief disorder is a form of depression impacting individuals who have just lost a loved one. They may have a significant longing for the deceased person. The grief will be so severe that it disrupts daily functioning.

Some signs of prolonged grief disorder may include:

  • Feeling as though a part of themselves died
  • Feeling like life is meaningless
  • Trouble moving on with life
  • Severe emotional pain over the death
  • Feeling numb
  • Feeling alone

Atypical Depression

Atypical depression or depression with atypical features is depression with a temporary improvement of mood when something positive happens.

Women are twice as likely to suffer from atypical depression.

It is common in teens or early twenties.

Some symptoms of atypical depression are:

  • Increase in appetite
  • Sleeping too much
  • Heavy feeling in arms or legs
  • Sensitivity to criticism

Professionals can treat atypical depression with psychotherapy, antidepressants, and lifestyle changes.

Treatment-Resistant Depression

Sometimes depression may not get much better, even with treatment. Medications may not work for some people's symptoms of depression.

To be considered treatment-resistant depression, a major depressive disorder must have failed with at least two different treatments to be treated.

Almost one-third of people with depression are considered treatment-resistant.

There are different approaches to treating depression that typical antidepressants haven't worked so far.

A doctor could add another medication used for another condition to alleviate some of the symptoms.

Psychotherapy is another option. There are always other treatment options that you can try if medication and psychotherapy are not successful.

Some other options are:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Ketamine therapy: nasal spray

How Common Is Depression?

Depression is a common mental health condition. It is having persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Individuals can also have physical symptoms of depression, such as digestive issues or chronic pain.

Kentucky's depression rate of 22.84% is the fifth-highest in the United States, according to a 2022 report.

Get Help for Your Depression Today

People with depression have a 40% higher chance of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population.

Depression is a severe and common mental health condition. Depression can lead to suicide.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S.

At SUN Behavioral Health, we strive to provide quality care to members of our community.

As a result, we have different treatment options available to fit each person's unique needs.

Beat Any Depression With SUN

If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, reach out to us at (859) 429-5188.



What are the eight most typical forms of depression?

The eight common forms of depression are known as:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Bipolar depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Atypical depression
  • Prolonged grief disorder

What are the three levels of depression?

There are usually three levels of depression. They include mild, moderate, and severe or significant depression.

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