DEPRESSION: Know the signs!

Are There Different Types of Depression?
As with other types of illness, depression takes different forms. Some of the most common depressive disorders are:

  • Major depression is characterized by symptoms that affect a person’s work, sleep, eating habits, and interest in activities he or she once enjoyed. Episodes of major depression can last for six months or more. To be diagnosed with major depression, a person must have several of the symptoms noted in question 3 LINK on most days for at least two weeks. People with major depression may have just one episode of the illness, but more often the symptoms return several times during their lifetime.
  • Dysthymia is a low-intensity mood disorder characterized by similar but less severe symptoms than major depression, but the condition is longer-lasting (the symptoms must be present for two years to receive the diagnosis). While not totally disabling, dysthymia makes it difficult for a person to feel good or function normally. Many people who have dysthymia also have periods of major depression.
  • Bipolar disorder, which is sometimes called manic-depressive illness, is much less common than other types of depressive disorders. It is marked by cycles of intense highs, called manias, followed by intense lows, or depressions.

Other common forms of depression include:


  • Postpartum depression is depression after the birth of a baby. Between 10 and 15 percent of women who give birth are clinically diagnosed with this form of depression. (Postpartum psychosis, which is sometimes confused with postpartum depression in the media, is a rarer and much more serious mood disorder that requires immediate medical care.)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) refers to depressive symptoms that occur about one week prior to menstruation and disappear after you menstruate.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) occurs during the fall-winter season and disappears during the spring-summer season. It’s likely due to lack of sunlight. 

Recognizing Depression in Older Adults

Help for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Depressed Kids May Be Targets for Bullying

Spotting the Signs of a Depressive Episode

Can You Bounce Back From Life’s Challenges?

Avoiding the Return of Depression

Getting Help for a Loved One with Depression

Physical Symptoms of Depression

10 Key Questions About Depression

Bipolar and Depression: What’s the Difference?

Anxiety on the Silver Screen


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