major types of depression

Major Types of Depression

We all go through episodes of deep grief or sadness. These episodes usually fade away in days or weeks, depending on the intensity of the circumstance.

However, when you experience profound sadness that has lasted more than two weeks, and it affects your ability to function, it could be a sign of depression.

Depression affects how we feel, behave, and think and also interferes with our ability to carry on and function appropriately in our daily lives. Unfortunately, when people think about depression, they only categorize it as either regular depression or clinical depression.

However, depression as a mental health condition can be challenging to grasp, because we refer to it as a condition and sometimes as a symptom of a disease. Some of the major types of depression include: 

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

Commonly referred to as clinical depression. People diagnosed with this type of depression tend to feel depressed most days of the week. They may also have symptoms like weight gain or loss, loss of interest in activities, feelings of agitation or restlessness, trouble sleeping, feeling guilty or worthless, exhaustion and no energy, thoughts of suicide, and difficulty making decisions or trouble concentrating. 

Anyone with five or more of these symptoms almost daily for two weeks are diagnosed with major depression. Talking to a therapist can help, and you should find a mental health specialist who will prescribe antidepressants and help you find ways to manage the depression.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

People diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder have depression that lasts two years or longer. This term is used to mainly describe chronic major depression and dysthymia (persistent low-grade depression). 

People with this condition experiences symptom like too much or too little sleeping, fatigue or lack of energy, change in appetite, low self-esteem, feel hopeless, or trouble making decisions or concentrating.

This condition may be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both where advised.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

People who experience depression, weight gain, and sleepiness during the winter season but are perfectly okay in spring suffer from the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns.

It is believed that SAD triggers disturbance in the normal circadian rhythm of the body. Since light enters through the eyes influencing the circadian rhythm, seasonal variation in the night and day pattern can cause disruption leading to SAD.

Those with SAD can be put on antidepressants or light therapy. Light therapy involves sitting in front of a special bright lightbox for 15-30 minutes daily.

Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, consists of periods of hypomania or mania, where you feel very happy sometimes, then experience episodes of depression.

People with episodes of mania lasting up to seven days or less with hospitalization required are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. They can experience a depressive episode following or before a manic episode.

Some of the symptoms for the depressive episodes include fatigue, lack of energy, sleep problems, feelings of emptiness or sadness, decreased activity, trouble concentrating, suicidal thoughts, and loss of interest in some of the activities you used to enjoy.

The manic phase has symptoms such as reduced sleep, high energy, racing thoughts and speech, irritability, grandiose thinking, increased confidence and self-esteem, racing thoughts and speech, feelings of euphoria, and unusual, self-destructive, and risky behavior.

In severe cases, manic episodes can include delusions and hallucinations. People with hypomania have a less severe form of mania.

Psychotic Depression

Those diagnosed with psychotic depression have symptoms of MDD along with psychotic symptoms like paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.

Psychotic depression can be treated with a combination of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. ECT could also be an option. 


Depression Differential Diagnosis

Unlike most conditions, you can’t just walk into a laboratory and ask for a test that can diagnose. Luckily, certain tests can help your doctor rule depression out.

Before depression differential diagnosis is made, the health practitioner could ask to perform blood work to rule out other conditions that also contribute to mood changes. Some health conditions and medications, like thyroid disorder, viral infections, or significant hormonal changes, could cause symptoms similar to depression.

When all the necessary tests are made, and the doctor finds no other cause for your mood changes and depression symptoms, he will then refer you to a licensed psychiatrist or mental health expert for further evaluation.

Mental health experts look for specific symptoms to determine whether you’re depressed. They will ask in-depth questions about your behavior, mood, and day-to-day activities. They may also ask about your family’s psychological history. To help gauge your level of depression, they may also ask you to fill out a complete depression-rating questionnaire.

Because clinical depression can manifest in many different ways, a depression diagnosis can be challenging to make. The symptoms tend to vary in clinically depressed individuals. Some may become irritable or agitated, while others seem to withdraw into a state of apathy.

Behavioral or observable symptoms of clinical depression may also be minimal even when the person is experiencing profound inner turmoil. For some, depression could be an all-encompassing disorder that affects their feelings, body, behaviors, and thoughts in varying ways.

How Depression Symptoms Can Lead to a Depression Diagnosis

The symptoms of depression include:

·         Insomnia or excessive sleeping

·         Depressed or sad mood almost daily or better part of the day

·         Changes in weight, whether gain or loss within a month

·         Loss of interest and enjoyment in things you once used to enjoy

·         Sense of being rundown or physical restlessness noticeable to others

·         Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness or excessive guilt every day

·         Loss of energy or fatigue almost daily

·         Recurring suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts

·         Problems making decisions or concentrating every day

Before you are diagnosed with major depression, you should have at least five of these symptoms, with at least some nearly every day for about two weeks.

Because symptoms of depression can last for weeks, months, or even years, it can affect your personality as well as interfere with your work habits and social relationships, which makes it hard for people around you to empathize with you.

In severe cases, depressed people may even be unable to maintain their hygiene, eat, or also get out of bed. Depression episodes could be chronic, longstanding, recurrent, or occur once in a lifetime.

Complete Depression-Rating Questionnaire Technique

Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

This questionnaire is made up of 21 self-reported depression questions meant to help doctors and mental health professionals assess your symptoms, mood, and behaviors before they diagnose you with depression. For every answer, a score of 0-3 is given to indicate the severity of your symptoms.

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS)

The HDRS questionnaire is designed to help doctors and healthcare professionals to determine the severity of depression in those who have been diagnosed already. It also consists of 21 questions relating to particular symptoms or signs of depression.

In the questionnaire, multiple-choice answers are given a 0-4 score. The higher the total scores, the more severe the depression.

Zung Self-Rating Scale for Depression

This is a screening tool used to help depressed people assess their level of depression. It has 20 questions with a score range of 20-80. Those who are depressed score between 50-69. If the score goes beyond that, this indicates severe depression.

Once the mental health expert compiles all the information for the questionnaires and symptoms assessment, a diagnosis is made. The doctor will then diagnose the type of depression you have and determine the most effective treatment for the patient.

Childhood Depression

The Causes of Childhood Depression – How To Identify And Help Them

Childhood depression is a serious issue all over the globe. Children who are significantly depressed can find it hard to function at all. Childhood depression has affected more than 16% of kids in the US at some point in their lives.

About 3,000 adolescents, as well as young adults, are dying from suicide every year in the States, which makes the 3rd leading cause of death in young people 10-24 years old. Sadness or the blues are normal, transitional reactions to serious events like a loss.

For instance, the death of a parent or a divorce could precipitate depression in children. However, if the constant state of sadness doesn’t pass, and you notice that the child hasn’t bounced back even after a significant amount of time after the loss, this could mean that the child is depressed. Depression can also develop gradually without being triggered by a precipitating event.

Depressed kids could end up having difficult relationships with their siblings and parents. They also withdraw from activities or friends and constantly feel overwhelmed and hopeless. Teenagers have sleep disturbances or sleep more than normal.

The child could be exceeding the normal number of house of sleep, routinely waking up tired, have difficulty sleeping at night, needing constant rousing from a deep sleep especially in the mornings, or he or she could be having difficulty falling back to sleep due to excessive worrying in the middle of the night.

Depressed children could also be eating the wrong foods, eating too much, or not eating enough. Some may have no energy, lacking motivation, some may be unable to focus and easily agitated. If you initially had an easy-going kid, but they become irritable, upset, or angry when you request him or her to do something, he could be depressed. More symptoms of depression include:

·         Poor communication, social isolation

·         Frequent sadness, crying, tearfulness, hopelessness

·         Inability to enjoy activities decreased interest in activities they used to enjoy

·         Low energy, persistent boredom, poor concentration

·         Hostility or anger

·         Stomach Aches or headaches

·         Guilt, low self-esteem, extreme sensitivity to failure or rejection

·         Poor performance or frequent school absences

·         Increased anger, irritability or hostility, difficult relationships

·         Changes in sleeping and eating patterns

·         Trying to run away from home

·         Self-destructive behavior and expressions or thoughts of suicide.

Causes of Depression

Childhood depression doesn’t have one specific cause. Children with depression tend to have a number of psychological, biological, and environmental contributors. Biologically, a deficient level of the neurotransmitter serotonin is associated with depression.

Due to the biological differences in girls and boys based on gender and other differences, the girl child is more likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to boys. Children and teens born by a depressed parent are four times more likely to develop depression due to a partially genetic component in them.

Children with anxiety and depression are more prone to biological issues like trouble sleeping, suffering from a physical condition, low birth weight, etc.

Some of the psychological contributors to depression include negative social skills, low self-esteem, being excessively self-critical, negative body image, and feelings of helplessness when dealing with certain negative events.

Children who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, clinical anxiety, or those with learning or cognitive problems and trouble engaging in social activities, are at a higher risk of developing depression.

Childhood depression may also be a reaction to life stresses such as trauma IQ. This includes physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, school problems, the death of a loved one, suffering or bullying from peer pressure.

Teens and youths who are having a hard time adapting to US culture are also at risk of developing depression. Obese kids are also at an increased risk of developing childhood depression due to self-esteem issues and teasing from other children.

Financial difficulties and poverty, in general, are also contributors to childhood depression. Other contributors include social isolation, violence, divorce, parental conflict, and other causes of family life disruptions.

Children with poor school performance, limited physical activity, or have lost a relationship are also at risk of developing depression.

How to Use CBD Oil for Depression

How to Use CBD for Depression

Depression can negatively impact your overall mental and physical health. If not prevented, it can open doors to alcohol addiction, drug use, and even worse, suicide.

Besides using medication or opting for therapy, we highly recommend CBD oil as a great alternative to treat depression. So what’s the deal with this “CBD oil” we are talking about anyway? And how to use CBD oil for depression?

Read on to know everything about this.

The Benefits of CBD Oil

Cannabinoids (CBD) is a compound that naturally occurs in the Cannabis plant. There was little evidence about the healing properties of CBD.

Although some research says that it can help relieve pain, alleviate cancer-related symptoms, reduce skin problems such as acne, and help treat anxiety and depression. 

CBD Oil: A Cure for Depression?

Normally, a doctor will prescribe anti-depressant drugs as a way to treat depression. However, an ample number of these drugs show side effects such as mood swings, insomnia, uneasiness, and sexual dysfunction.

Instead of reducing the effects of depression, it seems like it only makes it worse the more you use it. CBD oil, on the other hand, shows lesser side effects and is more effective when it comes to treating anxiety and depression based on a study

Research conducted in 2018 shows that CBD oil is indeed an effective antidepressant that helps ward off or lessen depression and anxiety.

Aside from treating such mental illnesses, CBD oil has made its way to different products such as shampoo, medicines, facial cleansers, and the like because of the benefits it carries that we mentioned earlier.

Using CBD Oil to Treat Depression

There are various ways you can use CBD oil to treat depression. You can take it as a medication, or mix it with food by adding it as an ingredient. Chewable CBD oil is also becoming a thing too if in the form of CBD gummies.

CBD works by increasing the serotonin level of our body. Low serotonin levels mean you’ll experience more negative thoughts, unproductivity, low energy, unable to accomplish tasks, and most of all, depression.

Disadvantages of CBD Oil

We mentioned earlier that CBD oil has its own disadvantages too. These disadvantages are:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort

It is also said that CBD oil can negatively impact your liver. Studies show that 10% of people that are taking CBD oil have increased liver enzymes. The higher these enzymes are, the more you put yourself at risk for liver damage.

You should not also mix CBD oil with other antidepressant drugs if you have taken one. When you take CBD oil as a kind of medication along with other similar drugs, it’s time to take a visit to your doctor’s office and ask for a consultation.

Although CBD oil is indeed an effective alternative to help lessen the effects of depression, it still has its own share of negative health impact despite its good properties. And that’s why taking CBD oil in moderation is a must and shouldn’t be overused.