Kinds of Depression
by Stephanie Puckett
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 29 million Americans suffer from one of four common types of depression. These four kinds of depression are major depression, dysthymia, seasonal depression and bipolar disorder. Fortunately, there are treatments available for these types of depression, allowing those who are effected by them to find relief.
What is Depression?
Depression is a medical condition that can effect your mood. Unfortunately, depression does not only effect how you feel emotionally, it effects your thoughts and your physical health as well. Clinical depression is a serious disorder that can be dangerous if not treated. Ongoing depression that is not properly treated can lead to suicidal tendencies. According to statistics from Suicide.org in 2005, suicide accounted for 1.3 percent of deaths in the United States.
Most forms of depression are caused by chemical or hormonal balances in the brain. Mayo Clinic states that genes and environment are also factors in depression.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 15 million Americans are effected by major depression. This type of depression can seriously effect thoughts, mood, behavior and physical health.
Some of the symptoms associated with major depression are hopelessness, feeling sad, irritability, restlessness, inability to concentrate, crying spells, problems sleeping, feeling worthless, headaches and suicidal tendencies.
Dysthymia is a chronic mood disorder that is less severe than major depression. Most people who suffer from dysthymia only have mild episodes of chronic depression. Some of the symptoms associated with dysthymia are insomnia, crying spells, feelings of sadness, loss of confidence, hopelessness and difficulty concentrating.
Unlike major depression, dysthymia does not prevent you from performing every day activities.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by drastic mood changes. Most people who suffer from bipolar disorder do not experience the subtlety of moods, only the extremes. Mayo Clinic states that this mood instability can be disabling, which prevents those who suffer with it from performing every day activities.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder are poor judgment, rapid speech, high self-esteem, agitation, recklessness, increased energy, extreme sadness, loss of hope, guilt, fatigue, inability to concentrate, chronic pain, drug abuse and suicidal tendencies. These symptoms typically swing from one extreme to the other over a period of weeks.
Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder is a disorder that effects people only during certain seasons. Most people who experience this disorder are effected during the start of autumn. Seasonal affective disorder can be disabling, as it has characteristics of major depression during certain seasons.
The symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder usually differ depending on the season. During the fall and winter, a person may experience depression, hopelessness, increased sleep, lack of energy, weight gain and difficulty concentrating. During the spring and summer months, a person may experience anxiety, insomnia, agitation, weight loss, increased sex drive, and irritability.