I struggle with depression. I find that exercise, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep help alleviate my depression. Of course, the opposite is true in that it gets worse when I don’t practice self-care. I don’t take medication but I’m not opposed to it. If you haven’t watched it before, “I had a black dog, his name was depression” captures my experiences fairly well.
One the benefits, sort of, of having depression is that I’ve become a team member of COME2LIFE, a group of youth and young adults who present workshops on mental health for youth. We want to break down the stigma that prevents young people from getting help, finding hope, and experiencing healing. That means I am regularly looking out for information on depression so that I can better understand it myself and share with others for their benefit.
Recently, I came across and article called Six Common Depression Types by Beverly Merz. It’s an interesting article and I suggest you check it out but here’s a very short summary.
“Major depression. The classic depression type, major depression is a state where a dark mood is all-consuming and one loses interest in activities, even ones that are usually pleasurable.
Persistent depressive disorder. Formerly called “dysthymia,” this type of depression refers to low mood that has lasted for at least two years but may not reach the intensity of major depression.
Bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder—once known as manic-depressive disease—have episodes of depression. But they also go through periods of unusually high energy or activity. Manic symptoms look like the opposite of depression symptoms: grandiose ideas, unrealistically high self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, thoughts and activity at higher speed, and ramped-up pursuit of pleasure including sex sprees, overspending, and risk taking. Being manic can feel great, but it doesn’t last long, can lead to self-destructive behavior, and is usually followed by a period of depression.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type of depression emerges as days get shorter in the fall and winter. The mood change may result from alterations in the body’s natural daily rhythms, in the eyes’ sensitivity to light, or in how chemical messengers like serotonin and melatonin function.
Depression types unique to women
- Perinatal depression. This type of depression includes major and minor depressive episodes that occur during pregnancy or in the first 12 months after delivery (also known as postpartum depression).
- PMDD. This type of depression is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Symptoms of PMDD usually begin shortly after ovulation and end once menstruation starts.”