Depression and anxiety are very devastating illnesses. They affect millions of people around the world, yet they can be defeated...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Types of Depression, Symptoms, Warning Signs and Effects

Types of Depression, Symptoms, Warning Signs.
There are different types of depression. I want to you to understand the different types and how they overlap so I will explain each of them in detail one after the other:

1. Major Depression - This is commonly called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) by doctors. Patients of this type of depression feel depression almost every time and every day of the week.
Below are some of the symptoms, warning signs and effects the patients might have:
·         Loss of pleasure or interest or in their activities
·         Weight gain or weight loss
·         Finding it difficult to sleep or feeling like going to sleep during the day
·         They feel like they are slowed down or sped up
·         Feeling very tired and having no energy
·         Feeling guilty or worthless
·         Finding it difficult to concentrate or make decisions
·         Having suicide thoughts

2. Mild, Chronic Depression (Dysthymia) - This is a less severe form of major depression. The symptoms can linger for years, usually 2 years or more. Patients of Dysthymia can also experience intervals of major depression and that is why this type of depression. Depression experts cannot say precisely the cause of this type of depression but they say genes are a major role. Other causes may be abnormal brain nerve functioning (the nerves that regulate your moods), major life stresses, chronic illnesses and medication, relationship problems, work problems and so on may also raise the chances of having dysthymia, especially in those people who are biologically predisposed to developing depression.

Dysthymia symptoms, warning signs and effects are nearly the same as those of major depression except that they are fewer in number and less in intensity. The patients may have the following:
  • Depressed mood or sadness almost every hour of the day or nearly every day.
  •  No longer finding enjoyment in things they once found pleasurable.
  • Experiencing significant change in weight (loss or gain of over 5 percent in less than 30 days) or change in appetite.
  • Sleeping excessively or experiencing insomnia nearly every day.
  • Noticeably feeling restless or rundown physically.
  • Feeling of fatigue or having no energy nearly every day.
  • Feeling very hopeless or worthless, or feeling excessively guilty nearly every day.
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate or make decisions.
  • Frequently having suicide or death thoughts, plans or attempts of suicide.
Is Dysthymia Commonly found in the United States?
According to a report published by the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 2 percent of adult Americans have developed dysthymia. Although it is not as disabling as MDD, dysthymia can hinder the patients from feeling their best and performing optimally. Dysthymia can commence in adulthood or even childhood and it seems to be more prevalent in women.

3. Atypical Depression - When you have this type of depression you develop a mood that can temporarily be improved by positive events. Symptoms, warning signs and effects of Atypical depression are listed below. The patients may have the following:
·         Increase in appetite
·         Sleeping more frequently than before
·         Feeling heavy in their arm or leg or both
·         Too sensitive to criticism

4. Postpartum Depression.
This is a type of major depression that usually occurs to women weeks or months after childbirth.

Postpartum Depression symptoms, warning signs and effects.
·         Sadness.
·         Hopelessness.
·         Feeling excessively guilty.

5. Bipolar/Manic Depression.
Bipolar or Maniac depression is a major affective or mood disorder. It is usually accompanied by hypomanic episodes, that is, changes from somebody’s normal mood with high energy states. Bipolar depression is a serious health condition. It is accompanied by depressive episodes and can be harder and more devastating to treat even in people who never experienced hypomania.

Bipolar Depression symptoms, warning signs and effects.
  • Frequent sleeplessness, sometimes lasting for days.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Psychosis.
  • Grandiose delusions, also known as paranoid rage.
  • In serious cases, inability work or live a normal life.
Causes of Bipolar Depression.
The exact causes of bipolar depression are unknown. What we known is that it is connected with dysregulation of brain functioning. Occasionally it possesses a genetic component. In other words, it can affect families. It is a complex depression that probably arises from a combination of both genetic and non-genetic factors. It is associated with mood episodes, and there are periods of energy elation and normal mood in between these episodes. The seriousness of this mood swing can go from just mild to very extreme. It can also occur gradually or all of a sudden in just a matter of days or weeks. Depression experts call this mood swing cycling. We have a rapid cycling when we get four or more mood episodes in a year. Don’t confuse rapid cycling with mood changes that occur frequently from one moment to another in people having this bipolar depression or some other conditions like borderline-personality dysfunction.

Bipolar depression usually occurs to people within the age bracket of 15 to 24 and can persist through their lifetime. It is rare to diagnose bipolar depression mania in young children or even in adults who are over 65 years of age.

Because of its remissions and relapses, bipolar depression possesses a high rate of reoccurrence if it is not properly treated. Patients having severe hypomanic are usually hospitalized to restrain them from risky behaviors. Patients who are experiencing severe depression too may need to be hospitalized to restrain them from putting their suicidal thoughts into action or to help them control their psychotic symptoms (hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking.

About 90 percent of people who have severe hypomanic has one or more psychiatric hospitalization. 2 out of every 3 of them will have 2 or more hospitalizations in their lifetime.

6. Seasonal Depression.
This depression is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is a kind of mood disorder that happens to someone around the same time of every year. If you think the months of winter make you ill more than they ought to do, you might be experiencing seasonal depression or SAD.

There is another form of seasonal depression called Summer Depression. Generally, summer depression starts in early summer or late spring and ends in fall.

Causes of Seasonal Depression.
Although the exact causes of Seasonal Depression are unknown, some depression experts think that it is caused by certain hormones produced deep down in the brain that trigger changes which are related to our attitudes at some times of year. These experts have reasons to believe that SAD may be connected with such hormonal changes. A theory explains that because we have less sunlight in winter and fall the brain produces less serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical linking brain pathways and they help us regulate our moods. When the pathways of nerve cells in the brain that are responsible for the regulation of our moods do not function as they should, depression feelings will result, in addition to fatigue symptoms and weight gain. Usually, SAD begins in young adults and is more common to women than men. There are some patients of SAD who have mild symptoms and are easily irritated or annoyed. There are others who have symptoms that are worse than these, interfering with their work and relationships. Because of the relationship of SAD with lack of sufficient daylight in winter time, SAD is not often found in countries that have tropical weather, that is, countries that have plenty of sunshine.

Seasonal Depression symptoms, warning signs and effects.
In winter, people who have SAD show most of the normal warning signs of depression, such as:
  • Having little energy.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • Experiencing fatigue.
  • Having greater appetite.
  • Prefer to be alone.
  • In need of more sleep.
  • Gaining weight.
In summer, people who have SAD show the following warning signs of depression:
  • Having less appetite.
  • Having trouble sleeping.
  • Weight loss.
7. Psychotic Depression.
Psychotic depression is a smaller form of Major Depression that occurs to someone when they experience a form of psychosis which is a severe depressive illness.

Psychotic Depression symptoms, warning signs and effects.
Psychosis could come to you in the form of hallucinations, like hearing a strange voice that says you are worthless or useless, or delusions, like acute feelings of worthlessness, feelings of sinfulness, feelings of failure, or some other reality break. Psychotic depression has been observed to affect about 1 out of every 4 hospitalized people who are having depression.

Is Psychotic Depression the same as Major or Clinical Non-psychotic Depression?
No. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, someone who is psychotic is not in touch with reality. Patients of psychosis may hear strange voices or they may possess illogical or strange ideas. For instance, they usually think that other people are hearing their thoughts or that other people are trying to hurt them or do them harm. They might also think that they are possessed by the devil or wanted by the police for crimes they have not really committed.

People who have psychotic depression can get very angry for no reason at all. They like to spend many hours alone in bed or like sleeping during the day and keeping awake at night. Someone who has psychotic depression may not care about their appearance by not caring to take their bath or change their clothes. It may be very hard to have conversations with such a person because perhaps they rarely talk or they say meaningless things.

People having other mental ailments, for example, schizophrenia, also have psychosis. However, people having psychotic depression usually have hallucinations or delusions which are consistent with depression themes, like failure or worthlessness, whereas schizophrenia’s psychotic symptoms are more often implausible or bizarre and have nothing whatsoever to do with mood state like thinking that strangers are running after them for just no reason other than to attack them. People having psychotic depression may also be ashamed of their own thoughts and strive to hide them, or may also feel humiliated. This explains why this variety of depression seems very hard to diagnose.

However, diagnosis of psychotic depression is very important. Its method of treatment is different from that of non-psychotic depression. Also, if you have one psychotic depression episode, you have a higher chance of having bipolar depression with reoccurring episodes of psychotic depression or mania, or even suicide.


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