Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Depression Types

Types of depression include:

Depression Bipolar Disorder

Once referred to as manic-depressive disorder, this type of depression alternates with periods of mania. The depression and mania seem to cycle back and forth. Manic episodes are typically periods of time where the individual has excess energy, impulsive behavior, racing thought, poor judgment, and often socially inappropriate behavior.

Depression Dysthymic Disorder

This disorder is characterized by episodes of depression that do not qualify as major depression, but have been on and off for at least two years duration. Although dysthymic disorder tends to be a mild form of depression, it can still be quite debilitating.

Depression Grief

Grief is natural emotional healing that people go through when adjusting a major loss. Grief may cause the same symptoms as depression, but are temporary.

Depression Major Depression

Major depression is the most serious kind of depression. It is characterized by a constant depressed mood and loss of interest in all activities that lasts for at least two weeks.

Other features include a profound lack of energy, a distorted, negative self-image, and deep sadness or hopelessness. It can be moderate to severe and pass in a matter of months or last for years without treatment. Major depression is thought to be caused by a disturbance in brain chemistry rather than a psychological reaction to external events.

Depression OAD

When a medical problem or a drug is responsible for the depression, then the condition is referred to as organic affective disorder (OAD). This occurs due to one or more biological effects on the brain.

Depression SAD

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of major depression. People with SAD have episodes of depression in the autumn and winter months. The symptoms normally lessen in the spring and summer and at times may completely resolve.

Depression Situational Depression

This is the least serious form of depression. It is part of a normal reaction to upsetting events. Temporary depression following a divorce, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job is considered to be normal. Situational depression usually lasts for several weeks to a few months at most. Sometimes situational depression will escalate into major depression.

Depression Teenage Depression

Teenage depression is seen during the teenage years. These teenagers have constant sadness, are discouraged, and have no confidence. Depression is common in this age group because of the normal conflicts and stresses that go along with growing-up.

Triggers for teenage depression:

  • Death of a friend or relative
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Failure at school may trigger teenage depression
  • Medical or mental illness
  • Poor relationships with classmates
  • Strained boyfriend or girlfriend relationships

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Depression References
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