There are several types of depression disorders recognized by mental health professionals. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is widely used for diagnosis, categorizes depressive disorders as follows:

  1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): This is the most common form of depression. It is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or a loss of interest in activities, accompanied by a range of other symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, low energy, difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. To be diagnosed with MDD, these symptoms must persist for at least two weeks.

  2. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): Formerly known as dysthymia, this type of depression involves a chronic low mood that lasts for at least two years in adults (or one year in children or adolescents). People with PDD may experience periods of major depression along with milder symptoms. This condition often leads to functional impairment and can make it challenging to experience a sense of well-being.

  3. Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania. During depressive episodes, individuals experience symptoms similar to major depressive disorder. In manic or hypomanic episodes, they may have elevated or irritable moods, increased energy, racing thoughts, impulsivity, and engage in risky behavior. Bipolar disorder is divided into different subtypes, including bipolar I disorder (manic episodes lasting at least seven days) and bipolar II disorder (hypomanic episodes and major depressive episodes).

  4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): SAD is a type of depression that is associated with seasonal patterns. It typically occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. Symptoms include low mood, lack of energy, increased sleep, carbohydrate cravings, and weight gain. In contrast, symptoms tend to improve during the spring and summer seasons.

  5. Postpartum Depression: Postpartum depression occurs in women after giving birth. It is characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and difficulty bonding with the newborn. Postpartum depression can interfere with a woman’s ability to care for herself and her baby. It is important to seek professional help in this situation, as it can have significant impacts on both the mother and the child.

It’s important to note that depression is a complex and multifaceted condition, and individuals may experience a combination of symptoms or have unique presentations that don’t fit neatly into one specific category. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, it is recommended to consult a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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