There are many ways that depression can present itself, although certain symptoms seem to be more prevalent than others. The most notable symptom of this particular mental disorder is a feeling of sadness that lasts all day, every day. Many people with depression also report a loss of energy, an unwillingness to socialize with friends and family members, excessive fatigue, and a noticeable weight gain. In some cases, depressed individuals may even have recurring thoughts of death and suicide.
Types of Depression
Although the symptoms and traits of depression are generally the same in most individuals who suffer with the disorder, there are many types of depression. Of those, most are categorized as either major depressive disorder or minor depressive disorder.
Major depressive disorder is usually diagnosed in individuals who suffer from multiple symptoms of depression that cause a significant disruption to day-to-day activities. Major depressive disorder usually places severe limitations on a person’s ability to complete even the most basic of tasks, such as eating, sleeping and going to work. Individuals who suffer at least one episode of major depressive disorder are more likely to suffer repeat episodes throughout their lifetimes.
Minor depressive disorder, on the other hand, is not as severe as major depressive disorder, but is usually diagnosed in individuals who suffer from some of the symptoms of depression for at least 14 days. In some cases, minor depressive disorder can continue to progress into more severe symptoms, which may lead to a major depressive disorder diagnosis.
In some cases, depression can be a chronic condition in which a person’s mood and feelings are negatively affected for years on end. Individuals who experience this chronic type of depression, but do not have the extreme symptoms associated with major depressive disorder, are usually diagnosed with dysthymia. Also known as dysthymic disorder, symptoms are typically very mild, last for many years and may come and go over the course of a lifetime.
Circumstantial mood disorders are common and, depending on the severity and extent of symptoms, can be classified as either major or minor depressive disorder. Examples of circumstantial depression can occur following the loss of a loved one or following the end of a pregnancy, which is most commonly known as post-partum disorder. These types of circumstances may lead to hallucinations, denials or delusions, which are symptoms that can lead to the diagnosis of psychotic depression.
Almost any circumstance can trigger depression, including the natural changing of the seasons. In fact, the condition known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is used to define the depression often experience during seasons that are cold, rainy or that have fewer hours of sunlight each day.
Therapy may reduce (decrease your depression). If you have depression, you should consider getting counseling now.