Depression can develop in different ways. At the hand of a diagnosis and the experience of depression symptoms, we can differentiate between different types of depression. Some types of depression can also be differentiated based on their causes.
Below, you will find a list of the different types of depression.
To speak of a diagnosis ‘minor depression’, at least two of the depression symptoms must be present. This is one of the most common types of depression. Minor depression is a depression on a low-level. It is called depression, but it is less severe than other types of depression.
The symptoms of depression which must be present in this type, are the standard symptoms of depression. These symptoms can be found under the section symptoms of depression, or in the main article on depression.
The maximum amount of depression symptoms present in this type of depression are 4 symptoms. If this criterion is surpassed, we are speaking of more severe types of depression. A minor depression thus is a light type of depression, because it only includes a limited amount of depression symptoms.
This does not mean that the subjective suffering of the person is less or that it should not be treated. Even though this is a lighter type of depression, the suffering, and depression symptoms can effectively be treated. The lighter the symptoms are and the quicker treatment is sought, the effects of this treatment will be seen more quickly.
To speak of a diagnosis of ‘major depression’ 5-9 symptoms of depression must be present. This type of depression, too, is very common. This is maybe one of the less well-known types of depression, but it does still occur. Research shows that more than 17% of the population of the Earth will suffer from a major depression at some point in their lives (Blazer, D. G & Kessler, R. C., 1994).
The symptoms which must be present for this type of depression are the standard symptoms that we speak of when talking about depression. These symptoms of depression can be found in the section on symptoms of depression or in the main article on depression.
When speaking of major depression, the recognized depression symptoms occur in one period, for at least two weeks at a time. A major depression thus is a one-time period, which can take between several weeks up to possibly years. If there are several episodes, we speak of other types of depression.
In the case of chronic depression, the symptoms of depression occur several times. This means that you have more than one depressive period as opposed to major depression. This type of depression, too, is under the general types of depression. Chronic depression is a less well-known type of depression because most known types of depression only occur once.
For this type of depression, too, you can refer to the standard symptoms of depression.
In between the depressed episodes, there must be intervals of at least two months. During these two months, you may not experience depressive symptoms, because otherwise, one speaks of constant depression. A chronic depression, on the other hand, is characterized by a period where you do not experience depressive symptoms. After these two months, you can then once again experience a depressed period with its matching symptoms.
This type of depression is less severe than the above types of depression. You can compare a dysthymic disorder with a minor depression, but then with a more depressing atmosphere that does not overtake everything. A diagnosis ‘dysthymic disorder’ means that you experience a depressed mood for a period of at least two years. The difference between this and other types of depression is that you can still feel good some days with a dysthymic disorder. You need not suffer every day, or every moment of the day, to suffer from a dysthymic disorder. The condition is just that you do feel more depressed than you feel happy.
To speak of a diagnosis ‘manic depression’ depressive episodes need to be in between periods of strong euphoria or agitation. These euphoric periods are also called manic episodes. During these periods you feel like you rule the world, or you become irritated very quickly. Many people can also do irrational things in such a manic episode, such as buying things which they cannot afford. If you then ask them whether they can really afford it, their answer is usually something along the lines of ‘of course, you need not worry about that’.
After this manic episode, the client then ends up in a depressive episode again. During this depressive episode, the client experiences several depression symptoms in one atmosphere which takes over everything. You will thus constantly feel somber and unhappy. These depressed episodes usually take longer than the manic episodes do.
This type of depression is often caused by genetics. Because of this, the treatment of manic depressions often consists of a combination of antidepressants and therapy. In a manic depression, people often strive to neutralize the symptoms rather than to find a solution to the manic depression. It can be so that a manic, or bipolar, depression is present for life, but that treatment can eventually help to neutralize the symptoms so that you do not experience a large influence by the symptoms anymore after some time.
There also are less common types of depression, such as postnatal depression, which is a depression which is present after the birth of a child, seasonal depression, which is a type of depression which mainly manifests itself during a certain season, et cetera. These types of depression can be caused by certain hormones like a postnatal depression, or be caused by the experience of light, such as in seasonal depression. It can then be that you feel depressed during winter because you do not get enough sunlight, for example.
Would you like to know which types of depression you risk? Then you can always do our free depression test here. This test tells you which symptoms of depression you experience and how you can link these with some type of treatment.