Although depression is often used as a blanket term, it encompasses a diverse range of disorders. Understanding the types of depression can be useful if you’re experiencing mood-related symptoms that could be treatable.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
MDD is what most people picture when they hear the word depression. It’s characterized by a lack of interest in work, friends, and hobbies; unexplained weight loss or gain; sleep disturbances or lethargy; restlessness and agitation; a lack of energy; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; and/or suicidal thoughts. Experiencing five or more of these symptoms on most days for at least two weeks is considered MDD.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
When major depression persists for longer than two years, it’s called PDD. It is sometimes referred to as treatment-resistant depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
SAD refers to depression symptoms that manifest during the winter months, likely because of the shorter days and reduced sunlight.
This disorder is diagnosed when the symptoms of MDD are present along with hallucinations, delusions, and/or paranoia. Those with psychotic depression may see or hear things that aren’t really there or experience false beliefs and delusions.
This type of depression occurs in the weeks and months after giving birth.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is characterized by depression symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. This disorder can also cause anxiety, mood swings, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and appetite or sleep changes. PMDD affects up to 10 percent of women and may be associated with sensitivity to the hormonal changes that occur throughout the month.
If a depressed mood is associated with a stressful event such as divorce, a job change, a move, financial issues, or the death of a loved one, it is considered situational depression.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of any of the types of depression, talk with our team at Montana Psychiatry & Brain Health Center in Billings. Although you may feel hopeless, remember that mental illness is a treatable medical condition that will resolve with effective therapies. Contact us today to book an appointment and learn more about the types of depression and how to treat them.