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Types of Depression

Jul 29, 2022

Did you know there are several types of depression? If you suffer from depression, learning more about your specific type of depression can shape your steps to respond to it. For example, let’s look at several depression types and explore when and if inpatient treatment would be an effective next step.

Depression is a broad label for a mental health disorder with many varieties. The list includes:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Bipolar depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Atypical depression

It’s essential to recognize the type of depression you’re living with to receive proper care. When depression disrupts your ability to function daily or leads to substance use, treatment is a recommended first step towards recovery.

If you or a loved one need help, call our admissions team today at 561-841-1033.

Types of Depression

Depression affects your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Left undiagnosed, it can create a wide range of problems. As depression is complex, specific types differ in makeup.

Major Depressive Disorder

You may hear major depressive disorder referred to as clinical depression or depression. People with this type of depression may experience a loss of interest in activities, sleep troubles, weight changes, fatigue, a sense of worthlessness, a loss of hope, and a struggle to concentrate. People with major depressive disorder may think about self-harm and suicide, too.

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar depression is often called bipolar disorder, even shortened to simply bipolar. It’s a common diagnosis related to depression. It can be broken down into three subsets of types.

  • Bipolar I, causes manic-depressive symptoms and potentially psychotic episodes.
  • Bipolar II, produces alternating depressive and manic episodes with less severity than Bipolar I.
  • Cyclothymic disorder, is characterized by brief episodes of depression and hypomania. Symptoms can vary, including excessive talking, a jumpy mood, decreased need for sleep, an inflated sense of self-confidence, and racing thoughts. Other symptoms may be irritability, loss of energy, and excessive tearfulness.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a type of depression that’s connected to a woman’s menstrual cycle. She may begin to experience symptoms of PMDD a week before the start of her period, and these symptoms may lessen within a few days. Women with PMDD may feel agitated, confused, irritable, exhausted, nervous, and paranoid. They may have problems concentrating, become forgetful, and experience more emotional sensitivity. Getting restful sleep may become an issue, too. Physical symptoms may appear as abdominal cramps, backaches, constipation, dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea, skin issues, and vomiting.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression affects mothers after they have given birth and stems from hormonal changes in the body. While all women experience some form of these changes, more severe effects can appear in some women. However, it’s essential to seek help for women with postpartum depression who experience the following symptoms more than two weeks after giving birth.

Postpartum Depression Symptoms

  • Baby bonding issues
  • Changes in appetite
  • Crying excessively
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Self-harm thoughts
  • Severe mood swings
  • Sleep issues, including oversleeping
  • Suicidal thoughts

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

This type of depression is tied to the changing of the seasons. Usually, the onset is the start of winter with lower amounts of sunlight and lower daily temperatures. Seasonal affective disorder can develop in people living in any climate, even hot climates where cool temperatures are not sustained long. If you have SAD, you may feel down almost daily, experience periods of low energy, lose interest in your once-favorite activities, feel worthless, sleep excessively, overeat, lose hope, and even think about self-harm or suicide.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent depressive disorder is a type of long-term depression, sometimes called dysthymia. This type of depression can last for months or even years. Symptoms may include a poor appetite, a loss of interest in once-favorite activities and avoidance of social settings, low energy, low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, persistent worry, and sleep issues. Long-term depression of this nature can impact every aspect of one’s life, from work to relationships to physical health and well-being.

Atypical Depression

Atypical depression is unlike the other types as its negative effects are lower in quantity and severity. The onset can be unexpected as it can be tied to positive experiences as well as negative ones. Its symptoms include:

  • Oversleeping
  • Experiencing a heavy feeling in your arms or legs for more than an hour daily
  • Becoming highly sensitive to criticism
  • Feeling more hungry than usual

Also, you may have atypical depression if you feel your depression gets relieved upon hearing good news or attending a social event.

When Should You Seek Help?

Seeking help should come at any time you recognize depression is interfering with your ability to function daily. Symptoms may make focusing on work more challenging, affect work and personal relationships, and impact your physical health and well-being. For example, if you see depression getting in the way of your ability to practice good self-care habits, it’s certainly time to seek help for your mental health needs.

A desire to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol is another clear sign that someone should seek help for depression. Drinking to cope with symptoms of depression can intensify them and lead to more harmful consequences. Misusing prescription drugs is another form of substance abuse for people with undiagnosed or untreated depression. Turning to illegal drugs when feeling depressed is another warning sign of mental health needs not being met and can even lead to a substance use disorder.

If your depression leads to thoughts of harming yourself or others, seek immediate help by calling 911.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment can provide care for both mental health needs and substance use if present. In this type of residential program, a patient receives help and support for both disorders in an integrated manner.

Eight Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

  1. Inpatient treatment is entirely focused on your mental health recovery.
  2. Inpatient treatment team members provide comprehensive medication management and can help you find the right prescriptions, if needed.
  3. Inpatient treatment is staffed 24/7 by experienced and qualified personnel.
  4. Inpatient treatment can help you avoid exposure to stressors, environmental issues, or substances that can interfere with your recovery work.
  5. Inpatient treatment allows you to engage in multiple forms of therapy, including individual trauma therapies and dynamic group sessions.
  6. Inpatient treatment is customized to your individual needs.
  7. Inpatient treatment enables you to connect with people in your peer group and learn how to build healthy connections.
  8. Inpatient treatment can set you up for success by providing a plan for continuing care once the program is complete.


Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for mental illnesses and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting wellness.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.

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