Different Types of Depression – Six Common Categories

According to common categorization, there are six different types of  depression , which range from relatively mild to severe. Following is a description of each of them.

1. Major (or clinical)  depression 

This type of  depression  is what many people normally know about. This is the classic  depression  or what is often referred to as clinical  depression .

Psychiatrists define major or clinical  depression  as that type of  depression  that dwells on the gloomy end of the spectrum, thus it is likewise referred to as “unipolar  depression .” A person with this type of  depression  gets sad thoughts, unable to control it, stays with being sad for a long period of time and is most likely to hate himself rather than other people for being the way he is.

A person with this type of  depression  needs utmost supervision. He is very likely to inflict harm to himself. Which is why, with clinical  depression , a person must be treated with medications. This is to prevent suicide from happening whenever he falls into self-hate and loathing which is very common to this type of  depression .

2. Dysthymia or Chronic  Depression 

The second of the 6 different types of  depression  is dysthymia more known to many as chronic  depression .

With this type of  depression , a person usually experiences  depression  symptoms way milder than that of major  depression . However, if a person with major depressive episodes experiences the major blues for weeks or months, a person with chronic  depression , on the other hand, feels the blues (although mild) day in and day out for a minimum of two years.

The feeling of hopelessness, sadness, insomnia and having eating disorders are experienced for a long time, as though having those feelings is just part of the daily life, or that sadness is the regular menu of the day. People falling under this type of  depression  sometimes fall into major  depression .

A person with dysthymia or chronic  depression  requires treatment so as to give the person a chance to live a normal life during his depressed state.

3. Bipolar  Depression 

If there is unipolar  depression  there is also bipolar  depression . This condition is characterized by mood swings – someone might be extremely happy one moment and then go into a melancholic state within a short period of time. These states are also referred to as “mania” and “hypomania”, the two opposite poles in mental state – thus the term “bipolar”.

4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

There are people who get depressed during fall or winter – they have what psychiatrists call seasonal effective disorder (SAD). Whenever a certain season hits, they fall into depressed state, their hormones change and they can’t function well, just like a person in a major  depression . What’s different with people with SAD is that when the  depression  season ends, they get well and function normally again.

Stressors for SAD are not limited to changes in climate. It includes celebrations such as a birthday (his or of someone close to him), Valentine’s Day, Christmas or New Year’s eve.

5. Atypical  Depression 

This type of  depression  makes someone difficult to live with. The sufferer may become hypersensitive emotionally, go into panic attacks, overeat and oversleep. This may prevent him or her from forming a lasting romantic relationship because the symptoms may drive the other person “nuts”. This type of  depression  is mild and can easily be cured compared to other types.

6. Psychotic  Depression 

Of all the different types of  depression , psychotic  depression  is the most severe type. With this type of  depression  a person experiences hallucinations, hears voices and gets delusional. If a person with mild or major type of  depression  goes untreated, he or she may suffer from a psychotic breakdown.