Sadness is a normal part of living. At some point in life, we all have felt what sadness is. A normal sadness comes from any loss or frustration from daily life. Normal sadness is not permanent, it leaves after some time. But when sadness becomes permanent and starts to affect the functioning of everyday work, it is considered to a depression.
Depression is not just sadness, it is more than that. It is a serious mental disorder which has a significant impact on the quality of life of an individual as well as of the loved ones. Depression is accompanied by various changes in life such as physical changes (such as change in appetite, headache, problems with sleep, and gastrointestinal issues), changes in thinking (such as problems with concentration, difficulty in decision making, and persistent thoughts), changes in feeling (such as loss of interest, feeling of hopelessness, and loss of self esteem), and changes in behavior (such as changes in daily schedule, reduced self care, and increased intake of drugs).
Types of depression
There are various types of depression and some of the common types are as follows:
1. Major depressive disorder
A major depressive disorder is the most common type of depression which is characterized by at least one depressive episode lasting for at least two weeks and is accompanied by various changes in mood, interest, and pleasure, and cognitive system. A major depressive disorder is considered to be one of the leading causes of chronic diseases as it is associated with an increased risk of developing diseases like diabetes mellitus, heart attack, and stroke.
Studies suggest that women are twice more likely to suffer from major depressive disorder as compared to women. Also, it is believed that almost 35% of cases of major depressive disorder are due to genetics. Finding suggests that genetic variables such as rare mutation increase the risk of major depressive disorder.
2. Persistent depressive disorder
A persistent depressive disorder is also known as dysthymia and it is characterized by the recurrent state of depression. It is defined as a chronic depressive mood disorder which is characterized by the presence of a depressed mood most of the time for at least two years. The symptoms that occur in persistent depressive disorder is similar to the symptoms that occur in a major depressive disorder such as changes in mood, interest, and pleasure, and cognitive system, but the severity level of symptoms differ.
When compared to major depressive disorder, the symptoms of persistent depressive disorder are less severe. But it lasts for a longer period of time. Although the exact cause of the persistent depressive disorder is not known, it is believed that factors like genetics, environmental, behavioral can play a role in the development of this type of depression.
3. Prenatal depression
Prenatal depression is a type of depression which occur in a woman during her pregnancy. Depression is considered to be the most prevalent psychiatric disorder during pregnancy. Prenatal depression is a public health concern and there are many reasons for it.
Evidence suggests that depression during pregnancy is one of the strongest risk factors for postnatal depression. Several studies found out that most of the postnatal depression cases had arisen during the antenatal period. Also, depression during pregnancy is also associated with poorer maternal health. Not only maternal, but it can also have an impact on child outcome.
4. Seasonal affective disorder
A seasonal affective disorder is another form of depression in which an individual experience depression at a particular time of the year or during a particular season. It occurs at the same time during each year. The severity of the seasonal affective disorder varies from person to person and it can range from mild to severe. A mild form of the seasonal affective disorder is known as “winter blues”.
A seasonal affective disorder is characterized by a wide range of signs and symptoms such as low mood, increased appetite, increased sleep, irritability, and weight gain. Change in the season has an impact on everyone but on some people, it can have a significant impact. When an individual has a seasonal affective disorder, the change in a season has a much greater impact on their mood and energy levels.
5. Psychotic depression
Psychotic depression is a type of depression which occur when an individual has all the symptoms of severe depression along with the presence of some of the forms of psychosis such as delusions and hallucinations. Delusion is defined as a condition in which an individual has a strong false belief which does not go even in the presence of some proof. Whereas hallucination is a condition in which an individual see or feel things that are not present in reality.
The symptoms of the psychotic disorder are different from other types of depressive disorders. Most often, psychotically depressed patients experience delusions in the form of being guilty, somatic and paranoid. Symptoms of hallucinations are in the form of auditory and visual.
6. Bipolar mood disorder
Bipolar mood disorder is also known as manic depressive illness that is characterized by mood disturbances and other symptoms such as loss of interest, changes in appetite, changes in sleep pattern, lack of concentration, and fatigue. Bipolar mood disorder is a serious brain disorder in which a person goes through unusual mood changes. Patients experience depressive episodes alternating with periods of mania involving elation, over-activity, irritability, rapid speech, and recklessness.