Types of Depression

Depression can come in several shapes and sizes. Medical health professionals typically diagnose the following disorders:

  • Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD) – This type of depression occurs during winter, when the lack of sunlight causes some people to become depressed. Studies reported by the Journal of Affective Disorders have shown that SAD sufferers are often treated with a combination of light therapy and psychotherapy. In some cases, the mere presence of a new season – like spring or summer – can help to alleviate symptoms of SAD.
  • Major Depressive Disorder – This is also referred to as major depression. It can be quite devastating and may interfere with a person’s ability to function in society. Women affected by major depression can have difficulty performing daily activities like working, eating and sleeping.
  • Dysthymic Disorder – Also called dysthymia, this condition is less severe than major depression; however, it is frequently long-term – lasting two years or longer. Although not as dramatic as major depression, dysthymia still leaves women feeling down in the dumps and can last for quite a while.
  • Post-Partum Depression – After childbirth, some women become depressed. Medical health professionals believe this disorder may be caused by hormonal changes coupled with the responsibility of caring for a new baby. The National Institute of Mental Health advises that post-partum women, who suffer from depression, are also at risk for other mental disorders.