The Many Faces of Depression
It’s important to know what type of depression you have, so that you can manage the symptoms and receive effective treatment. Depression shows up in many different shapes and forms.
Dysthymia is a mild recurring depression. Although you may experience times of feeling normal, more often than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed. It may feel like you’ve always been depressed, and this is just who you are.
The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong major depression, however, the symptoms can last 2+ years. It is possible to experience dysthymia and episodes of major depression at the same time, this is known as “double depression”.
Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate depression. The symptoms are severe and unrelenting. If left untreated, the symptoms can last up to six months. Some people experience major depression once in their lifetimes, while other people may have recurring bouts.
Atypical depression is responsive to some types of therapy and medications better than others. Proper identification of atypical depression can be helpful. Symptoms may include weight gain, oversleeping, overeating, heaviness in arms and legs, and over sensitivity to rejection. People who have this disorder feel an elevation in positive mood states when a positive event occurs, and then feel low again shortly after the event ends.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Some people will experience a depressed mood when daytime hours are reduced due to seasonal fluctuations. About 1-2% of the population suffers from SAD. A low mood state (e.g. hopelessness, loneliness, sadness, tension) usually begins in the fall and lasts throughout the winter. When daylight hours increase, the person’s mood becomes more positive.
Knowledge is power
Knowing the causes of depression, as well as, the what type you have will help determine the best treatment options. Please know that depression is treatable–it may not happen overnight, but a different experience of life is possible. Ask us about our risk-free consultation to learn more.