Everyone experiences bouts of sadness or grief at some point in their life. These feelings usually fade away after a few days or weeks, depending on the person or circumstance. But, profound emotions that last for a long time and have serious effects on one’s ability to function may be a sign of depression.
Under the umbrella of depression are multiple shades of gray. It can be mild or severe, short-lived or long-term. Read on to learn about its different types.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
When people say “clinical depression,” they’re usually referring to this. It’s a fairly common disorder experienced by about 16.2 million adults in the U.S. Those with MDD experience symptoms every day. This condition has little to do with what’s happening around the person. They can have a loving family, a stable job, and plenty of friends yet still have MDD.
Some symptoms of MDD are:
- Depressive mood
- Lack of interest in activities
- Change in weight
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Difficulty in concentrating
Also known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD) or dysthymia, it’s a type of depression that can last for two years or more. Although the symptoms aren’t as severe as MDD’s, it can still affect relationships and make daily tasks difficult.
Symptoms of chronic depression are:
- Feelings of sadness
- Low self-esteem
- Changes in appetite
- Anger and irritability
- Feelings of guilt.
Postpartum Depression (PPD)
Although giving birth to a new baby can bring plenty of joy, it can also lead to postpartum depression. For women, PPD is usually triggered by their shift in hormones. For men, it’s likely because of the change in roles and lifestyle.
Signs of PPD for both men and women are:
- Severe mood swings
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Social withdrawal
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This is a depression that’s related to certain seasons. For most people, they experience the symptoms during the winter months and feel fine around spring. SAD is said to be caused by a disturbance in the usual daily rhythm of the body. The light that enters through the eyelids affects this, and any change in the night and day patterns can cause disruption.
Symptoms that often begin in fall and continue through the winter are:
- Increased need for sleep
- Social withdrawal
- Weight gain
- Feelings of sadness and worthlessness
- Heavy, leaden feelings in the arms and legs
Knowing the different types of this condition and its symptoms will make it easier to recognize in yourself or other people. If you are experiencing any of these signs and want to seek help, there are plenty of MDD, PPD, SAD, and chronic depression treatment centers out there.