When you have depression, it’s like you’re at the bottom of a dark hole you need to climb out of. Some days, the hole is only a few feet deep and you can pull yourself out without too much trouble; You can go about your day and keep your symptoms in check. But on other days, the hole is a mile deep and there’s very little you can do to climb out.
Unfortunately, not all forms of depression are created equal and can be treated the same way. Knowing what type of depression you have can help you manage it and get back to enjoying life.
What are the Types of Depression?
From social withdrawal to intense feelings of grief and hopelessness, depression can vary in severity and length of time you experience symptoms. The most common types of depression include:
1. Major Depressive Disorder
There’s not necessarily a rhyme or reason for major depressive disorder. In fact, you may be wondering why you feel so depressed when you have a loving family and an excellent job. With major depressive disorder, you know you should be happy, but you can’t seem to shake what you’re feeling.
This severe type of depression usually causes feelings of worthlessness, grief, hopelessness and anxiety. However, major depressive disorder can also lead to other physical symptoms, including:
- Fatigue and lack of energy to do normal activities
- Bodily aches and pains
- Insomnia or too much sleep
- Loss of appetite or eating too much
- Loss of concentration
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Some people with major depressive disorder will also experience depressive psychosis. This is when you suffer from hallucinations and delusions on top of normal depression symptoms.
2. Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder)
Have you gone days feeling happy and elated, only to do a complete 180degree turn and find yourself spiraling into a depressive episode? Bipolar disorder is marked by extreme mood swings where you experience a manic episode that lasts seven days and struggle with depressive episodes directly before or after the mania.
If you suffer from bipolar disorder, you’ll experience the same depressive symptoms as those who struggle with major depressive disorder. However, you’ll also have manic symptoms such as extremely high energy spurts that disrupt your sleep, grandiose thinking and risky, self-destructive behaviors.
3. Persistent Depression
Persistent depressive disorder can be extremely difficult to recognize because the symptoms aren’t always severe enough to interrupt your day. Just like major depressive disorder, you may experience feelings of hopelessness, changes in sleep and appetite, and a lack of interest to socialize or participate in activities you enjoy.
If you’re struggling with persistent depression, you may believe that these symptoms are just part of normal life and you need to try harder than others to feel happy. If you’ve struggled on and off with depression symptoms for at least two years, ask your doctor about the persistent depressive disorder.
4. Seasonal Affective Disorder
As the name implies, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is often triggered by a change in seasons. Clinically, SAD is considered to be major depressive disorder that follows a seasonal pattern. If you have SAD, you experience symptoms of major depressive disorder during the winter months when the days are shorter, you have less access to natural light and you’re inside more often.
What Kind of Depression Do I Have?
Knowing exactly what kind of depression you have can inform the type of treatment and care you receive to manage your symptoms. The following steps can help you determine what type of depression you’re struggling with:
- Track Your Symptoms. Take note of your symptoms, how long they last and for how often. How severe are your symptoms? Do they last for multiple days at a time? Keep track of this information in your phone’s calendar app or in a journal to then share with your doctor.
- Seek an Evaluation by Your Doctor. Having your symptoms recorded will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor about what you’re experiencing. This clear communication will help your doctor get to the right diagnosis faster.
- Familiarize Yourself with Treatment Options. From anti-depressant medication to natural ways of coping with depression, there are countless treatment options you can use. Take the time to find what treatment is most effective for you and be patient. Mental health treatment like what’s offered at The Raleigh House can provide the guidance and care you need as you learn how to manage your depression.
Find Hope and Relief from Depression at The Raleigh House
As crippling as your depression may feel, there is always hope. You can climb out of that dark hole your depression has landed you in, no matter how deep it is. All it takes is help from The Raleigh House. Using an “east to west” approach that combines evidence-based treatments and experiential therapies, we can help you work through your depression and discover how to manage your symptoms effectively.
To learn more about our depression and mood disorder treatment approach and to find out how to get started, contact our admissions team today.