Common Types of Depression

Recent statistical revisions suggest that almost 350 million people around the world suffer from depression. Based on this number, we could argue that depression in one of the most common mood disorders.

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But depression does not feel or manifest in the same way for everyone. Some may experience severe forms of depression, while others may still be able to function almost normally, while depressed. Whatever the case may be, the main purpose of our guide is to provide answers that can be applied to each type of depression.

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Seasonal Depression

Have you ever noticed that, during those days of the year when the seasons change, some people seem a bit sad and moody? Experts call this “weather sensitivity” and it’s more common that you might think.

The Need for Natural Light

Some researchers suggest that seasonal depression might be the results of varying amount of sunlight that we are exposed to, as the seasons change. 

Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is most often associated with autumn and winter, when the days become shorter and we receive less sunlight. The condition subsides as the season comes to an end, but must be recurrent, over at least a few years, in order for seasonal depression to be diagnosed.

Major Depression

Also known as major depressive disorder, this specific type of mood disorder is considered to be one of the most difficult mental conditions to cope with. However, remember that it is certainly not impossible, just might require a bit more effort.

Daily Difficulties

People who experience this type of depression may fall into an abyss of pain and suffering. They may feel completely lost, hopeless and joyless. Even tasks that were previously experienced as pleasurable, may now require huge amounts of effort and don’t bring any gratification.

Simple chores, such as washing the dishes, shopping for groceries, etc. may feel like Herculean tasks. Perhaps the worst of all is how difficult it is to gather energy, in order to seek the necessary help.

In such extreme cases, help usually comes from friends and family members. They are the ones who make the calls and arrange meetings with specialists. The good news is that, despite its severity, major depression is both treatable and manageable.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is common among women who have recently given birth. Doctors and nurses are usually the first to notice sudden changes in the mother’s behavior. From a certain point of view, it’s absolutely normal to get depressed. Children are a huge responsibility and raising one can be a bit intimidating.

Why Does It Occur?

Many women, who experience postpartum depression, may be afraid they won’t be able to take care of their newborn child or that they will not connect with the baby, the way a mother is “supposed to”.

It’s a constant state of worry, mixed in with self-doubt and a pessimistic attitudes toward the future. However, this time of depression is highly preventable and treatable.

What Can You Do?

As a future parent, you just have to openly discuss these issues before having a child and would benefit from visiting a therapist, to help you adjust to the idea.

Even if you already have postpartum depression, it is important to understand that you can cope with it, as long as you are willing to speak about it, as well as seek the help of your support system and a psychologist. It is important to act upon postpartum depression as soon as possible, so that you can provide proper care for your baby.

Situational Depression

Also referred to as adjustment disorder, this is one of the most common types of depression. It’s usually the result of an extremely stressful life-event, or a series of events, that leads to substantial changes in one’s life.

Situational depression may occur in circumstances, such as moving to a different place, retiring, a divorce, death in the family, and other drastic changes.

Focus on Your Perceptions

However, remember that it is not objective reality that hurts us, but rather the way we interpret it. It’s all about personal reactions and subjective opinions. Some of us are completely devastated after a breakup, while others choose to see the positive and engage in empowering behaviors, so they can move on with their lives.

When it comes to situational depression, most interventions focus on the cognitive aspects of the problem. Changing your beliefs and negative interpretations leads to improved coping strategies.

Atypical Depression

Atypical depression is often characterized by hypersomnia, or sleeping too, as well as an increased appetite, which may lead to weight gain, heaviness in the limbs, difficulty communicating with others, as well as a diminished body image.

The reason why this type of depression is called atypical, is because unlike other types, people who experience it tend to have an improved mood, as a consequence to positive events.

Seeking Help

This improvement is short-lived, but it still provides a variation from other types of depression, where the person does not experience pleasure from activities previously enjoyed.

Due to some of its symptoms, such as increase in appetite and decrease in social functioning, atypical depression may become a vicious cycle, which is why it is crucial to seek immediate help and support.

Full reference: 

(Apr 11, 2016). Common Types of Depression. Retrieved Dec 12, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/common-types-of-depression

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