Symptoms of depression interfere in all areas of a person's life, including labor and social relations. Depression can be described as mild, moderate, or severe; melancholy or psychotic (see below). There are many different types of depression. Events in your life cause some and chemical changes in your brain cause others.
Your doctor may diagnose major depression if you have five or more of these symptoms most days for 2 weeks or more. At least one of the symptoms should be a depressed mood or loss of interest in activities. If you have depression that lasts 2 years or more, it's called persistent depressive disorder. This term is used to describe two conditions formerly known as dysthymia (persistent low-grade depression) and chronic major depression.
A person with bipolar disorder, which is also sometimes called manic depression, has mood episodes that range from high-energy extremes with a high mood to low depressive periods. When you're in the low phase, you'll have symptoms of major depression. Traditional antidepressants are not always recommended as first-line treatments for bipolar depression because there is no evidence that these drugs are more useful than a placebo (a sugar pill) for treating depression in people with bipolar disorder. In addition, for a small percentage of people with bipolar disorder, some traditional antidepressants may increase the risk of causing a high phase of the disease or speed up the frequency of having more episodes over time.
Seasonal affective disorder is a period of major depression that occurs most often during the winter months, when days get shorter and you get less and less sunlight. It usually disappears in spring and summer. A combination of antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs can treat psychotic depression. ECT can also be an option.
Women who have major depression in the weeks and months after childbirth may have peripartum depression. About 1 in 10 men also experience depression in the peripartum period. Antidepressant medications may help in a similar way to treating major depression that is not related to childbirth. Not only is depression difficult to endure, it is also a risk factor for heart disease and dementia.
Depressive symptoms can occur in adults for many reasons. If you experience cognitive or mood changes that last more than a few weeks, it's a good idea to contact your doctor or see a mental health specialist to help determine possible causes, says Dr. Nancy Donovan, Psychiatry Instructor at Harvard Medical School. The classic type of depression, major depression, is a state in which a dark mood consumes everything and you lose interest in activities, even those that are usually pleasurable.
Symptoms of this type of depression include difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, loss of energy, and feeling worthless. Thoughts of death or suicide may occur. It is usually treated with psychotherapy and medication. For some people with severe depression that is not relieved by psychotherapy or antidepressant medications, electroconvulsive therapy may be effective.
Formerly called dysthymia, this type of depression refers to low mood that has lasted at least two years but may not reach the intensity of major depression. Many people with this type of depression can function day by day, but they feel depressed or joyless most of the time. Other depressive symptoms may include changes in appetite and sleep, lack of energy, low self-esteem or hopelessness. The severity of depression ranges from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe and persistent depression.
Clinical depression is the most severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. It is not the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by periods of abnormally elevated mood known as mania. These periods can be mild (hypomania) or they can be so extreme that they cause a marked deterioration in a person's life, require hospitalization, or affect a person's sense of reality.
The vast majority of people with bipolar disorder also have episodes of major depression. Currently classified as peripartum onset depression, postpartum depression (PPD) is more than just postpartum melancholy. While there are several levels and severity of depression, it is enriching to know the different stages and signs of this common ailment. However, a person with PMDD may experience a level of depression and sadness that gets in the way of day-to-day functions.
Depression Levels Relating to HRSD and BDI in Guideline Update Compared to APA Suggested (2000b). . .