When a person is diagnosed with a psychological disorder, one of the things that doctors try to identify is the sub-type. Just like with most diseases, the specific kind must be detected so that they can provide the specific mode of treatment. In this case, the specific kind from the various types of Depression must also be known.


The DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is a publication which has categorized Depression into three main kinds. Although this predicament has general signs and symptoms, you will see how it is different from one another. Here are the main types of Depression.


Major Depressive Disorder

This is also known as Clinical Disorder. The symptoms can last for the whole, almost every single day for two weeks, at least. For the patient to be diagnosed with this problem, he or she must be in a depressed mood and lack of interest in most activities. It should also have at least four more symptoms from the following:


  • Increase or decrease in appetite causing weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping. It is also possible that he or she sleeps a lot
  • Mental tension which also translates to movement, as observed by others
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Difficulty in concentrating, making decisions and easily distracted
  • Feeling of worthlessness and guilt. Also thinking of and planning about death


Dysthymia or Dysthymic Disorder

Unlike the first one, this is feeling constantly depresses for at least two years. Besides his or her low self-esteem, it should also be accompanied by some of the symptoms mentioned earlier for it to be classified under this category. Fortunately, people with Dysthymia suffers minor symptoms and do not have suicidal ideation. Therefore, this is considered as less grave than Major Depression, despite the fact that it lasts longer and is more persistent.


Bipolar Disorder

This was once termed Manic Depression mainly because it includes state of mania and phases of depression. The cycling (or changes) between these two phases can be quick. It is also possible that you will find patients who are exhibiting mania only. Often, the manic episode lasts for a week and consists of a constant, elevated or irritable mood.


For a person to be diagnosed with this problem, three or four more symptoms must be present. These are too high self-esteem or self-importance, flight of ideas (racing thoughts) which is translated into talking, highly distractible, excessive movement, and wanting to do risky activities, among others.


There are also other types of Depression. Post-Partum Depression (after pregnancy), Seasonal Affective Disorder (during certain times of the year), Situational or Reactive Depression and Chronic Depression (lasts for more than two years) are only some of the most common ones that you would hear about.


To prevent progression or worsening of any of these types of Depression, immediate treatment and therapies are important. Although these are considered minor only, it is very important to get professional help when you think that you, or a loved one, are undergoing specific symptoms of this psychological predicament.

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