Subtypes Of Depression
Oftentimes, depression is divided into subtypes. These subtypes are based upon the symptoms that are exhibited with each type of depression. Some of the main subtypes of depression include:
Mono-polar depression (also known as dysthymic disorder)
This type of depression consists only of depressive symptoms. In mild cases of mono-polar depression there is no interference with an individual’s ability to work or their ability to participate in social activities. (These minor cases are known as “dysthymic disorder.”) However, in more severe cases of mono-polar depression, these areas can be affected.
Bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive disease or cyclothymic disorder)
A person with bipolar disorder has periods of depression that alternate with periods of elevated mood level. The periods of depression are known as the depressive phase while the periods of elevated mood level are known as the manic phase. While a person is in the manic phase they show symptoms of increased mental and physical activity. They also tend to sleep poorly and have problems concentrating whenever they are in the manic phase. Sometimes a person may only have a mild form of bipolar disorder. In such cases, this mild form of bipolar disorder is known as “cyclthymic disorder.”
This disorder is actually believed to be the same as bipolar disorder, but the depressive state simply has not occurred yet. Manic depression is characterized by an abnormally elevated mood. This mood is accompanied by unrealistic optimism, lack of sleep, and hyperactive behavior.
Depression caused by physical disease
Sometimes a physical disease such as hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, stroke, and Cushing’s syndrome can cause the symptoms of depression. Diseases such as these are actually the most common cause of depression. However, this type of depression can also be triggered by a lengthy illness such as the flu. Another disease that often contributes to depression is hypothyroidism, wherein a person lacks thyroid hormones and thus has a slowed metabolism.
Oftentimes, women go through a period of depression after giving birth to a baby. This is due to the fact that the birthing process is both physically and mentally exhausting. Therefore, this process can actually drain the body of important nutrients. This lack of nutrients can in turn lead to depressive symptoms.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
During cold, dark times of the year a person may become depressed. Then when it becomes warm and light outside again, this depression may then go away. This is because light stimulates brain activity while a lack of light may lead to depression.