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What are the different types of depression?

Life is a rollercoaster ride, and everyone has their low days every once in a while. Still, if your bad days are outnumbering your good ones, you might be in clinical depression, But fret not; with a vast amount of research on depression treatment, there are several antidepressants, counselling styles and lifestyle changes that you can adopt to fight it off like a warrior. 

There are several types and causes of depression. Events in your life may play a role in some, while chemical changes may be responsible for the other. Whatever the underlying cause of depression, ensure that you reach out to your therapist to determine the type of depression you are suffering. Timely diagnosis and the right treatment can make all the difference.

  1. Bipolar disorder
  2. Seasonal Affective Disorder
  3. Psychotic depression
  4. Postpartum depression

1. Bipolar disorder

If you are suffering from unpredictable extreme highs and lows episodes, you might be a patient of bipolar disorder or manic depression. 

Symptoms of bipolar disorder in the low phase

  • Loss of interest in your favorite activities
  • Feeling worthless and experiencing suicidal thoughts
  • Major weight fluctuations
  • Feeling tired and facing difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
  • Either feeling agitated or sluggish physically and mentally

Bipolar disorder treatment

  • Medication and mood stabilizers such as lithium, Seroquel, Latuda and Olanzapine-fluoxetine combination
  • Other “off-label” drugs such as lamotrigine or Vraylar
  • Psychotherapy

However, traditional antidepressants are not always recommended over placebo options as bipolar disorder treatments. Some of these traditional antidepressants tend to increase the frequency of episodes, particularly those of the “high” phase.

2. Seasonal Affective Depression (SAD)

The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are very similar to those of bipolar disorder during the “low” phase. However, they majorly occur during the winter season when the days become shorter and nights become longer. With the coming of spring and summer, these patients often start feeling much better.

Treatment for SAD

  • Antidepressants
  • Light therapy – One can indulge in light therapy by sitting in front of a special brightly lit box for 15-30 minutes every day.

3. Psychotic depression

Again, the symptoms of psychotic depression are pretty similar to the ones experienced in the “low” phase of bipolar disorder. However, they are accentuated by “psychotic” activities as below– 

  • Hallucinations – sights or sounds of things that aren’t present around
  • Delusions 
  • Paranoia – a negative belief that others are out there to harm you

Treatment for psychotic depression

  • ECT
  • A combination of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs

4. Postpartum depression

If your depression is triggered after childbirth, you might be suffering from peripartum or postpartum depression. 

Symptoms of postpartum depression

  • Severe mood swings and recurring suicidal thoughts
  • Excessive crying and pressing thoughts of harming yourself or your new-born
  • Inability to bond with the baby
  • Major fluctuations in appetite
  • Overwhelming loss of energy
  • Irrational fear of being a bad mother

Antidepressants can be used as a treatment for postpartum depression.

The bottom line

If you or your loved one is suffering from suicidal thoughts, get help at the earliest. We are always there by your side.

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