Depression is not a small societal problem. It affects a rather large segment of our population. The word depression is a broad topic, and there are a number of different type of the condition known as depression. These different types of depression are defined by different types of symptoms that are present.
The most common type of depression treated today is known as major depression. Major depression is denoted by a lack of energy by the individual, unable to get a good night’s sleep, and just a general lethargic feeling or feeling blue for extended periods of time with no breaks in the mood and no apparent cause for the feelings. For those suffering from major depression they have a tendency to stop doing those things that they normally enjoy doing. Major depression can be a condition that will not go away without proper treatment. These symptoms of major depression are usually defined as such when they persist for a period of at least two weeks without leaving. Although some people do get and stay better after a bout with major depression, many times the individual will have to do battle with these conditions several times throughout their lifetime.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (formerly called Dysthymia) is a type of depression that is often not as severe as a major depression and is not as commonly discussed. People who suffer from dysthymia will often have the same symptoms of major depression to a lesser degree. They may also only experience a select few of the symptoms that accompany a major depression. Due to the less pronounced symptoms a person who suffers from dysthymia can sometimes do so for their entire lives without getting treatment.
Bipolar Disorder is actually two types of depression (Bipolar I and Bipolar II) that don’t occur as frequently as Major Depression. Someone with Bipolar will experience both extreme emotional highs along with extreme emotional lows. Because of the nature of these extremes, a person suffering from bipolar disorder can have their way of life devastated. During the highs, they may become overly excited, very talkative, and even spend large amounts of money. While the low side is fraught with feeling blue and unsociable. This bipolar type of condition is one that needs to be addressed in order to be controllable.
If you suspect that someone that is close to you is experiencing symptoms of any of the types of depression, please recommend that they consider seeking professional assistance to get them back on track. Even though depression is a mental disorder, it presents with very real physical symptoms and should not be taken lightly. Healthcare providers today have a variety of options to treat depression including medications if necessary. With depression, it is not just a matter of ‘snapping out of it’. If symptoms persist, get some help.