One depression is not like another. There are different subtypes, which are briefly described below:
- Depressive disorder
- Dysthymic disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Psychotic depression
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal depression
Also called ‘unipolar depression‘ or ‘common depression‘. A depressive disorder is defined as someone who is depressed or depressed for an extended period of time. A period in which depressive symptoms occur is called a depressive episode. Is it only one episode? Then we speak of a one-time disorder. If the episodes are repeated, the depressive disorder is called recurrent.
A dysthymic disorder is ‘milder’ than a depressive disorder. A (mild) depressive mood must have been present for at least two years, and two or more of the depressive symptoms (excluding psychomotor agitation or inhibition) must have been present. The symptoms are generally milder than those of depression, yet dysthymic disorder is perceived as more severe. This is due to the long-term nature of the dysthymic disorder.
Better known as manic depression. Bipolar disorder is characterised by alternating periods of happiness and gloom. During the ‘good’ periods, a person feels extremely energetic and cheerful. Bipolar disorder can be divided into type I and type II. Type I bipolar disorder is defined as someone who has experienced at least one manic episode, possibly alternating with one or more depressive episodes. Type II bipolar disorder is defined as someone who has suffered at least one depressive episode and at least one mild manic episode. A mild manic episode is also called a hypomanic episode. In a hypomanic episode, the symptoms are not yet so severe that the general functioning is disturbed. An (even) milder form of bipolar disorder is cyclothymic disorder.
This is referred to when, in addition to depressive feelings, delusions or hallucinations are present. The delusions are often similar in content to the depression.
This type of depression can occur in women who have just had a child. Post-natal depression is similar to the ‘normal’ depression in terms of symptoms but only occurs within four months after childbirth. The most common symptoms are having depressed feelings and not being able to enjoy the baby.
People who only suffer from depressive moods in autumn, winter and/or early spring often suffer from seasonal depression. The best known is the winter depression. Symptoms of winter depression are:
- gloom and dejection,
- sleeping a lot,
- fatigue, irritability,
- eating a lot and weight gain.
Winter depression is present if the symptoms recur for at least two years in a row. Winter depression occurs more often in women than in men. The change in daylight disturbs the biological clock, which in many cases causes the winter depression. The hormone melatonin probably plays a role. The winter blues is a milder variant of winter depression. There are symptoms, but people suffering from winter blues are not ill. The symptoms correspond to those of winter depression but are less severe. In addition, there is no gloom or dejection.
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