Recognizing the Different Types of depression

When you hear or read about clinical depression, how much do you really know about it?  You might suspect that you have it or at least something like it, but did you know that there are many different types of depression?  Learning about the different types of depression there are is an important part of learning how to cope with it and treat it as well. 

After all, depression is a condition just like any other; if you have a digestive disorder you need to know if it's acid reflux disease or irritable bowel syndrome or bleeding ulcers in order to get proper treatment.

The same can be said of depression; you need to understand the difference between postpartum, seasonal, major depressive disorder, dysthymia, and bipolar before you can treat any of these types of depression.

Postpartum of course is something that affects women during pregnancy and after childbirth.  It is usually caused by the rush of hormones that a woman experiences, as well as things such as grief over perceived losses (loss of her figure, loss of her girlhood, loss of her freedom, and so on), a feeling of disappointment if the child has not "magically" solved problems she expected it to (i.e., giving her increased self-esteem, pulling her and her partner closer), and things such as these. 

Postpartum is one of the few types of depression that may go away after the woman's physical system returns to normal and she adjusts to her new circumstances.

Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder are types of depression that affect persons that are sensitive to outdoor weather and a lack of sunlight.  They get very depressed and sad in winter times or when they are forced to stay indoors. 

Bright lights, being outside as much as possible, and physical exercise are good treatment options.

Major depressive disorder and bipolar depression are the two most serious types of depression there are.  Major depressive disorder is a very extreme form of depression that may be accompanies by thoughts of suicide or self-mutilation; bipolar is marked by severe mood swings where a person can feel almost euphoric one moment and then extremely depressed the next. 

These  different types of depression usually need medical intervention including regular medication.

Dysthymia includes other types of depression that may not be properly classified.  It is not extreme enough to be considered major depressive disorder but is serious enough that it shouldn't be confused with "the blues" or other types of everyday sadness. 

There have been many more diagnoses of dysthymia in the past years because those who suffer from it did not belong in any other category or did not suffer from these other types of depression but still needed attention from medical personnel.  

It's important that you speak to your doctor and make sure you are addressing your condition regardless of which of these different types of depression you may suffer from. 

Depression is not a character flaw or sign of weakness but it cannot be wished or willed away either.

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