Depression is often a “catch-all” reference representing a period of sadness or low mood. However, depression is a much broader term, and the type of depression that you have may indicate a different treatment.
Knowing about the different types of depression can help you find a diagnosis, and can also help you find the right treatment approach. The providers at Nurocoach explain more about the different types of depression.
Depression is a mood disorder, strictly speaking. It may have well-defined causes and characteristics, or it may not; it depends on your case.
Some common symptoms of depression may include:
If you have these symptoms that do not go away, you might have depression.
This type of depression is the most common one, which most people use to describe their symptoms. It’s unipolar, meaning your low moods are not opposed by a higher manic mood.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, you may also have weight changes caused by either a lack of or a dramatic increase in appetite. You may also have frequent thoughts of death or suicide. You should always seek professional help if you’re dealing with these feelings.
This type of depression was once called dysthymia, which refers to having a low level of depression most of the time. Your base mood is depressed, although you may experience periods of feeling better over a period of several months.
Bipolar disorder is a separate matter from ordinary depression. Both depression and mania characterize bipolar disorder, but many people spend more time on the depressed side of the equation, called bipolar depression.
You may also have physical symptoms, such as fatigue, lethargy, irritability, unexplained aches and pains, and anxiety. The suicide rate is nearly 15 times higher among people with bipolar disorder. The good news is that there are many therapies available to assist with these symptoms.
Postpartum depression, or PPD, occurs after the birth of a baby. It may not happen immediately after the birth, which is how many cases get overlooked. Your OB/GYN may say that you have the baby blues — a normal phenomenon as your body adjusts to the lack of pregnancy hormones.
You could have postpartum depression, however, if your depression doesn’t go away or get better. Some of the symptoms of PPD include the following:
Although these conditions are relatively common, they aren’t something you have to learn to accept. The sooner you seek help, the more effective you can be as a mother — there’s no reason to feel ashamed.