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Understanding the Different Types of Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the US. More than 7% of women and men have at least one episode of major depression per year. 

Everyone feels down or blue from time to time — especially after a major life change, such as divorce or death of a loved one. You may not even recognize your depression as a problem at first.  But if you have lingering sadness, hopelessness, or other changes that affect your quality of life for more than two weeks, you could have some form of depression.

Our expert counselors at The Soho Center for Mental Health are trained to diagnose and treat all types of depression both at our Greenwich Village offices in New York City, New York, and via secure telemedicine consultations.  Below we offer descriptions of the most common forms of depression. 

If you think you or a loved one suffers from any type of depression, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule a consultation. If you or they have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call the suicide prevention lifeline right away at 800-273-8255. 

Major depression

Major depression is the most common type of depression and is characterized by a persistent dark mood, loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities, and feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness. You may also experience changes in appetite, accompanied by weight loss or gain. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call the suicide prevention lifeline right away at 800-273-8255. 

Persistent depressive disorder

If you’ve lived under a cloud of joylessness and depression for more than two years, you may have persistent depressive disorder. Your symptoms may vary in severity, but continue without relief.   

Psychotic depression

Psychotic depression is a form of severe depression in which you also have hallucinations, delusions, or false beliefs that are upsetting or negative. You may think that you’re ill, or poor, or a terrible person, none of which is true. You may also hear or see things that aren’t really there.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Women and men with SAD tend to withdraw and feel low or listless during the winter months, when days are short, gray, and gloomy. The sadness and depression lift once the sunny days of spring and summer arrive. 

However, you don't have to wait until summer to feel better. Light therapy and other forms of therapy can help you manage SAD symptoms.  

Bipolar disorder

If you have bipolar disorder, episodes of depression alternate with moods of exhilaration or euphoria, known as mania. During your manic phases, you may be filled with energy and grandiose plans. Eventually, though, you crash and feel depressed again.

Women are more at risk for depression because of hormonal fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Types of depression that affect women alone include:

Postpartum depression

After giving birth, some women may feel depressed, listless, and disconnected from their loved ones — including their babies. Although postpartum (aka perinatal) depression is common, leaving it untreated puts both mother and baby at risk.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

A severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), PMDD is marked by mood changes as well as physical discomfort that starts around the time of your period. If you have PMDD, you may have trouble focusing, experience mood swings or bouts of crying, and have thoughts of suicide.

If you or a loved one has experienced the symptoms of any type of depression for more than two weeks, use our online form, or call our friendly staff to schedule a consultation. You may also opt for teletherapy that’s conducted through confidential and affordable video/phone consultations.

If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call the suicide prevention lifeline right away at 800-273-8255. 

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