“Depression” is a term that is used to describe a person that is dealing with negative symptoms due to an overall sense of sadness. However, depression is so much more than feelings of sadness and despair. Depression is a term used to describe symptoms of clinical psychological conditions known as depressive disorders. And, there are many different types of depressive disorders, all different in characteristics. Determining the type of depressive disorder a person may be living with can help to identify specific treatments that may be most effective. And, give the people living with these conditions a better understanding of the causes and best coping mechanisms to utilize.
So, what are the different types of depressive disorders?
Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, is the type of depressive disorder that most people think about when they think of depression. This disorder is diagnosed when symptoms of this disorder are experienced for two weeks or longer. People living with this specific depressive disorder may experience specific symptoms that characterize this disorder including:
This type of depressive disorder, also known as Persistent Depressive Disorder, is characterized by experiencing symptoms of depression off and on for at least two years. Days of depressive symptoms must be present on more days than not during this time period. Furthermore, periods of not experiencing depressive symptoms must not last longer than two months to receive this diagnosis. Finally, people diagnosed with Dysthymia may experience depressive disorders that are mild to severe, but not as severe as symptoms of MDD. Some of the symptoms of Dysthymia may include:
With this type of depressive disorder, women who are pregnant or have recently given birth experience symptoms of depression. These symptoms are due to a psychological change that lasts longer than just normal negative feelings due to change after having a baby. Some of the common symptoms of PPD can include:
Bipolar disorders are mood disorders that are also classified as depressive disorders. These disorders are characterized by episodes of both depression and also periods of mania. Mania is episodes characterized by symptoms of high energy and uplifted spirits and mood. Symptoms of bipolar disorders can be debilitating to daily life and may even require admittance into hospital settings. Some of the defining characteristics of bipolar disorders can include:
There are many types of depressive disorders, and identifying which depressive disorders a person may be living with can help to identify which treatments may be most helpful. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help people living with depressive disorders to reduce and manage symptoms of depression. Delray Center for Integrative Medicine offers treatment for people living with all types of depressive disorders. Find out more about how we can help from our website.