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What Are the Different Types of Depression and Symptoms?

What Are the Different Types of Depression and Symptoms?

Whether you are in college, or feeling in the middle of a huge slump, you may may be asking yourself if you are depressed. It is more than a sad mood, or feeling down for a short period of time. Symptoms can be hopelessness, fatigue, even physical pain. It varies person to person. Learn more about the different types of depression and symptoms to look out for if you or a loved one is struggling.


Depression can actual create the opportunity for emotional and physical changes to occur. You may have problems engaging in normal daily activities, lose interest in sex and other activities, and feel guilty or hopeless. The good news is that even with severe issues, treatment is available. Medication and counseling, coupled with a few other things can support your recovery.

Types of Depression

Not all types of depressive disorder are the same. Though similar symptoms may rise up, there are different treatments for the different types of depression.

  • Dysthymia. Around 2 percent of the population of the United States struggle with this persistent, low mood. It can last for a year or longer. Even if you function adequately, it is not optimally. Sadness, trouble concentrating, fatigue, changes in sleep and appetite may appear. Talk therapy can help, along with medication. The risk for major or clinical depression rises for people who struggle with dysthymia.
  • Seasonal affective disorder. If you gain weight, feel blue, and socially withdraw in winter, this may be an issue. Anxiety, irritability, and fatigue during the day may be due to lack of sunlight. Symptoms range from mild to severe. It lifts with light therapy or artificial light treatment until daylight appears longer (spring, summer).
  • Atypical depression. This type of depression often goes undiagnosed. It is less understood than major depression and is characterized by a sense of heaviness in the arms and legs, a form of paralysis. Oversleeping and overeating are two symptoms.
  • Psychotic depression. Psychosis-a state characterized by disorganized thinking or behavior or delusions-is not associated with depression typically, but some people who have severe depression may develop psychotic episodes. Antidepressants and antipsychotics may be needed for treatment, along with therapeutic intervention from counselors.
  • Bipolar disorder. Periods of extreme lows followed by periods of extreme highs makeup bipolar disorder. Symptoms of mania include high energy, excitement, racing thoughts, and poor judgment. Symptoms may cycle between depression and mania a few times a year, persisting over years or even decades. Treatment is supported by mood stabilizers and therapy.

If you are struggling with depression, there are many ways to seek help. The main thing is to speak to a treating physician and find out next steps to seek help for your symptoms.

Depression is serious, no matter the symptoms. Even if you think you are okay, family and friends may recognize serious changes that are drastic enough to require help. Often, mental health issues and addiction are co-occurring, or happening at the same time. We can help you if you are struggling with mental health issues and addiction. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401