Types Of Depression Have Varying Symptoms, Severity And Duration

Depression is a serious ailment but it is treatable. It is a kind of disease that silently sucks out the joy and energy from somebody. A continued state of sadness or emotions different from someone's normal behaviour is usually termed as depression. If this behaviour starts interfering with regular activities everywhere, it is time to consult a psychiatrist. The primary symptoms of depression include anger, irritability, social withdrawal, a feeling of hopelessness or sadness, changes in sleep and appetite, fear of rejection, crying, fatigue and difficulty in concentrating. Often, suicidal tendencies tend to develop in many individuals suffering from prolonged depression.

Various types of depression are classified depending on the features, severity and duration. Among the major depressive orders, there is major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder and manic depression or bipolar disorder. These disorders cause huge distress, makes normal functioning difficult and are not caused by any medication or drug.

Major depressive disorder or clinical depression has symptoms lasting every day for at least two weeks. These symptoms can be a depressed mood, an absence of interest or pleasure in any activity, change in weight and appetite, sleeping problems, fatigue, a sustained mental tension and a feeling of worthlessness. Many people suffering from this disorder try to commit suicide.

People suffering from dysthymia or dysthymic disorder have a depressed mood constantly for two years but it is less severe than major depression. One can notice a change in weight and appetite, sleeping problems, feeling of hopelessness and concentration problems.

Bipolar disorder includes periods of mania and depression. This interchange can be quite rapid. A manic episode consists of an extremely happy or irritated mood lasting for a week. Other symptoms include too much of self-importance, insomnia, talkativeness, distraction and involvement in risky behaviour like sexual adventures or spending uncontrolably. Sometimes, this disorder can get quite serious warranting hospitalisation to prevent harm to self or others.

Among the other types of depression are post partum depression (occurring after having a baby), seasonal affective disorder (a disorder recurring at a specific time of the year), anxiety depression (panic attacks and social phobia), atypical depression (a temporary improvement in mood), chronic depression, double depression (an individual suffers from both dysthymia and a major depressive episode) and endogenous depression (feeling depressed for no reason).

Treatment of all kinds of depression depends on the severity of the symptoms and the choice of the patient. The usual methods of treatment include antidepressants, psychotherapy or a combination of both. Psychotherapy is used in treating mild cases of depression. Severe depression needs both the treatments. Medicines help to get relief from physical ailments and therapy teaches effective methods to deal with problems. Sometimes it is necessary to continue with both medicines and therapy sessions to prevent recurrence of the depressive symptoms.

Genetic and biochemical factors play a significant role in causing depression. Environmental, psychological, social and stress factors are equally responsible for depression. Women are affected by depression at least two times more than men. There can be many dimensions to the issue of women's depression. Adolescence, adulthood, motherhood, menopause, victimization, societal pressures and poverty all have a role to play in creating depression among women.