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Of late, do you find yourself extremely sad and angry for reasons unknown to you? Are unexplained mood swings weighing you down like never before? Is it becoming really difficult to enjoy the special moments with friends and family?  All these might be absolutely fine and normal if it is just for a day or two, or if due to some specific circumstance or event. But beyond that, the blues could even be a serious condition like depression!

Depression : Definition

Depression is a mental health disorder accompanied by severe mood instability and emotional turmoil. It is characterized by extreme sadness, anger, fear, mood swings and persistent negative thoughts affecting the activities of daily life. Depression has an adverse effect on the way you feel, think and act! Suicidal tendency is said to be high in individuals who are depressed. Now that explains why it is important to identify and treat depression at the earliest!

Depression causes fear, sadness and suicidal thoughts

What are the different types of Depression?

There are 9 different types of depression, as identified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM – 5):

  • Major Depressive Disorder (also known as Major Depression, Unipolar Depression, Clinical Depression and MDD): The most commonly diagnosed type of depression, Major Depression makes you feel extremely sad and there will be an evident lack of interest in activities. You tend to become highly irritable, restless and filled with negative thoughts (sometimes, suicidal thoughts too).
  • Manic Depression (also known as Bipolar Disorder): Bipolar Disorder is characterized by severe mood swings; you may feel happy and elated at a moment and the next moment you might find yourself flaring up at others for a small or no reason.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (also known as Dysthymia): Dysthymia is a long-term type of depression, where you experience depression and its symptoms for quite a good number of years. People with Dysthymia are often found to be sad, even on the happiest of moments!
  • Atypical Depression: Atypical Depression could be considered as a subcategory of either Clinical Depression or Dysthymia. When you suffer from this type of depression, you could experience several symptoms like heaviness in limbs, overall weakness, sleepiness and weight gain.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): As the name clearly indicates, the change of season is what causes this type of depression. In patients suffering from SAD, the symptoms start with the onset of a particular season and ends when that season ends or the next season begins.
  • Psychotic Depression: This is a serious form of depression, where you tend to exhibit totally chaotic thinking and behavioral patterns. Delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing and hearing non-existent sights and sounds) are typical indications of Psychotic Depression.
  • Situational Depression (also known as adjustment disorder and reactive depression): Situational Depression is a short-term form of depression, triggered by a specific event like loss of a dear one, job loss, divorce, and the like.
  • Postpartum Depression: Postpartum Depression is a form of depression experienced by new mothers, shortly after giving birth. It is characterized by symptoms like unexplained sadness, mood swings, anger, and even intent to harm the baby in severe cases.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): PMDD is a hormone-based mood disorder, experienced by women before the menstrual cycle starts. It is considered to be a more intense form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), with behavioral symptoms like severe sadness, anger and mood swings and physical symptoms like bloating and breast tenderness.

If you feel, you are hit by any of the above kinds of depression, seek help today. Get rid of depression and live your life to the fullest.