Self, Health And Wellness

The Different Types Of Depression & How To Know If You're Depressed

Photo: by Timothy Paul Smith on Unsplash
The Different Types Of Depression & How To Know If You're Depressed

If you think you have been noticing symptoms of depression, it might not just be everyday stress or anxiety overwhelming you.

Perhaps, you're already depressed but totally unaware of it. 

There are several types of depression and figuring out how to know if you're depressed is an important first step in caring for your mental health.

RELATED: The 6 Types Of Depression (And How You Can Tell The Difference)

Paying attention to what's going on in your body and mind is key to understanding what you're going through and how you can feel better.

If you've been asking yourself, "Am I depressed?" it's time you do something about it.

Depression is a serious problem affecting millions of Americans and even more people around the globe.

You don't have to suffer in silence.

7.1 percent of Americans will experience some form of depression during their lifetime, and it is the world's leading cause of disability.

The good thing is depression can be treated and doesn’t have to become a lifelong sentence.

Depressive symptoms and disorders exist in many forms, and treatment for depression is also available.

Here are the different types of depression you could be experiencing and how to get through it:

1. Major depression

This is also called "clinical depression." It includes severe signs that conflict with working, resting, learning, eating, and enjoying life.

An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes.

When you are experiencing major depression it affects all areas of your life and it becomes difficult to cope without treatment.

2. Persistent depressive disorder

This is when your depressed condition lasts for a minimum of two years.

A person diagnosed with chronic depressive disorder may have major depression spells along with less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years or more.

RELATED: There Are Two Different Types of Depression (And How They Each Sneak Up On You)

3. Temporary depressive circumstances

​This happens when a person has severe depression with some form of psychosis.

This includes having an unsettling false belief or breaking from reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing disturbing things other people can't hear or see (hallucinations).

This is much more extreme than the "baby blues" and it's felt by many women following birth, as hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for the child may be overwhelming.

It is estimated that after giving birth, 10-15 percent of women experience postpartum depression.

This is marked by depression in the winter months when less natural sunlight exists.

In spring and summer, depression and sadness normally disappear.

SAD can be handled successfully with light therapy, but with light therapy alone, nearly half of those with SAD are not getting better.

Anti-depressant drugs and psychotherapy may reduce the symptoms of SAD, either alone or in conjunction with light therapy.

4. Bipolar disorder­

Also called manic-depressive illness, is not as common as major depression or persistent depressive disorder.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by variations in alternating mood — from severe elevations (e.g. mania) to extreme lows (e.g. depression).

5. Dysthymia

This is a less extreme form of depression.

Dysthymia (or dysthymic disorder) entails long-lasting symptoms that don't severely impair you but prevent one from functioning well or feeling good.

Now that you're aware of the different types of depression, you can take the necessary steps to take care of your mental health and feel better.

RELATED: The 8 Types Of Depression (And The Best Way To Handle Each)

Lisa Lieberman-Wang is a licensed neuro-linguistic practitioner and creator of Neuro Associative Programming (NAP). Find more helpful tips to loving yourself and improving your life on her website, FineToFab.

This article was originally published at Fine to Fab. Reprinted with permission from the author.