9 Types of Depression and How to Recognize Them

Hangover, Health

Ann Pietrangelo | HealthLine

Understanding depression

Everyone goes through periods of deep sadness and grief. These feelings usually fade away within a few days or weeks, depending on the circumstances. But profound sadness that lasts more than two weeks and affects your ability to function may be a sign of depression.

Some of the common symptoms of depression are:

  • deep feelings of sadness

  • dark moods

  • feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

  • appetite changes

  • sleep changes

  • lack of energy

  • inability to concentrate

  • difficulty getting through your normal activities

  • lack of interest in things you used to enjoy

  • withdrawing from friends

  • preoccupation with death or thoughts of self-harm

Depression affects everyone differently, and you might only have some of these symptoms. You may also have other symptoms that aren’t listed here. Keep in mind that it’s also normal to have some of these symptoms from time to time without having depression.

But if they start to impact your day-to-day life, they may be the result of depression.

There are many types of depression. While they share some common symptoms, they also have some key differences.

Here’s a look at nine types of depression and how they affect people.

1. Major depression

Major depression is also known as major depressive disorder, classic depression, or unipolar depression. It’s fairly common — about 16.2 million adults in the U.S. have experienced at least one major depressive episode.

People with major depression experience symptoms most of the day, every day. Like many mental health conditions, it has little to do with what’s happening around you. You can have a loving family, tons of friends, and a dream job. You can have the kind of life that others envy and still have depression.

Even if there’s no obvious reason for your depression, that doesn’t mean it’s not real or that you can simply tough it out.

It’s a severe form of depression that causes symptoms such as:

  • despondency, gloom, or grief

  • difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much

  • lack of energy and fatigue

  • loss of appetite or overeating

  • unexplained aches and pains

  • loss of interest in formerly pleasurable activities

  • lack of concentration, memory problems, and inability to make decisions

  • feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

  • constant worry and anxiety

  • thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide

These symptoms can last weeks or even months. Some people might have a single episode of major depression, while others experience it throughout their life. Regardless of how long its symptoms last, major depression can cause problems in your relationships and daily activities.

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