The Many Faces of Depression and How to Recognize Them

Depression is a serious medical illness and has a lot of faces. Find out these hidden faces for you to determine if you have this condition.

Types of Depression

There are times when you will feel sad or lose interest in the things you usually love. You will then think that this might be normal and that it will just pass by, but sometimes, you might not know that what you are feeling is actually depression.

But what is depression all about? Depression is a serious medical illness that has an impact on the way you think and feel. It can even have an effect on the way you act. When this happens, it can decrease your productivity in work, school, or even at home.

But there are a lot of faces of depression. Find out these hidden faces for you to determine if you have this condition.

Signs of Depression

Before going to the kinds of depression, it is important to note that you should be aware of the disorder’s signs first. Unfortunately, the symptoms vary: it can be mild or it can be severe.

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling depressed or sad
  • Have difficulties in concentrating, thinking, and making decisions about life
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in the things you love
  • Having troubles in sleeping or you tend to sleep a lot
  • Loss of interest in eating or eating too much
  • Increasing fatigue or tend to lose a lot of energy
  • Feels worthless
  • Taking a lot of time doing activities especially in speech and movements

All of the symptoms should appear constantly within two weeks before you go to the doctor. But take note that depression can also appear on medical conditions such as brain tumor, thyroid problems, and vitamin deficiency.

Depression might be misunderstood by some as well. It is not because you are sad, you are already depressed. Oftentimes, people who just lost someone they love feel so sad that they start to think that they have depression. But that is not the case. Instead, those are experiencing grief. Here are the differences between the two:

  • If you are experiencing grief, your self-esteem is maintained. But if you have depression, you tend to feel unworthy or self-loathing.
  • If you are experiencing grief, your feelings are usually a mixture of positive and negative. There are times when you are happy, there are times when you are sad. But with depression, your mood is just down for two consecutive weeks.
  • There are a lot of causes of depression: it can be being a victim of assault, losing a job, ending a relationship, and so on. But when both are experienced at the same time, grief lasts longer and most of the time overpowers depression.

5 Types of Depression

Now that you know the different symptoms related to depression and its difference with grief, it is time that you know the kinds of depression.

1. Major Depression

It is one of the most common types of depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 7% of adults in the US have this kind of depression.

The common symptoms of this condition are hopelessness, loss of interest, extreme sadness, irritability, lack of energy, suicidal thoughts, physical pain, having difficulty in concentrating, and problems in sleeping. For you to know that these signs lead to depression, all must be visible within 2 weeks.

Take note that there is a possibility that you have experienced a major depression in your life. It does not mean that it happened before, it will not happen again. In fact, major depression tends to reoccur in your life.

If you are diagnosed with a major depression, you will be required to take antidepressant medications. Some might even recommend that you have talk therapies.

2. Dysthymia

It is a type of condition that is less severe than the previously mentioned kind of depression. A factor that can lead to this is having a very low mood. This feeling might take over a long time, usually for a year. Other signs would be changes in appetite and sleeping patterns. You might feel fatigue as well as difficulty in concentrating.

The treatment for this type of condition is talk therapy and taking medications. Take note that having dysthymia can lead to major depression as well.

3. Postpartum Depression

This type of depression is felt after a woman gave birth. It is usually triggered when the mother has fears that she will hurt her baby or have a disconnection from her child. The mother will also have feelings of anxiety, fatigue, extreme sadness, and hopelessness.

These typically occur weeks and months after the child was born. There are even instances when it can last up to a year. The recommended treatment for this is drug medication and talk therapy.

4. Atypical Depression

It is an unusual type of depression that is underdiagnosed. Those with this kind of condition tend to feel heavy in their arms and legs and might even feel like they are paralyzed. Other symptoms that might be related to this are overeating and oversleeping.

Also, those with the condition can be irritable, experience gaining weight, and have problems with relationships. Having a low mood reactivity and being extra sensitive can be linked to atypical depression as well. The best way to treat this condition is through talk therapy.

5. Situational Depression

It also called an adjustment disorder that is usually triggered when you experience a life-changing event. It can be a trauma, death of someone you love, or a breakup. This type of depression is common just like a major depression.

Situational depression may require medication as well. But even though this can be easily triggered and is common does not mean that you should ignore it. If you have this condition, you will feel nervousness, worry, and extreme sadness. When not treated immediately, it can lead to major depression.

Depression is a serious mental condition that requires treatment immediately. But you should be aware that depression is not just merely feeling sad. It is still important to know the difference between this condition from grief and sadness. But once that you have all the signs of depression, you should immediately visit your doctor and seek treatment. Do not wait until this condition has a greater effect in your work and life.

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