18 Types of Depression

Depression is defined as a state of feeling sad by Merriam Webster, but if you struggle with depression, you know that there is so much more to it than that.  Depression can be debilitating and affects your life a lot more than simply being sad.  You probably know most of the signs and symptoms of depression, but did you know that there are several different types of depression?  Do you know how to explain the different kinds? 


  • Major Depression Disorder (MDD) aka Chronic: Affects 7% Americans,  signs of depression most of the time, it’s all  consuming and can lead to suicide.  Ref1
  • Dysthymia aka Persistent Depressive Disorder:  Affects 3% Americans  The symptoms become chronic yet can be intermittent, it’s biological rather than psychological therefore medication is often used.  It usually lasts at least two years at a time. It is thought to run in families.  Ref2 and Ref8 and Ref12
  • Postpartum Depression aka Perinatal or Peripartum- 10% of women after giving birth due to hormonal changes suffer from this.  It usually manifests within four weeks after giving birth. In extreme cases mothers are not able to take care of their child. Ref6Ref12
  • Antenatal:  Affects 10% of pregnant women and is triggered by pregnancy Ref4
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: Affects 4-6% Americans, symptoms are usually mild-feeling blue, weight gain, and withdrawn and can be treated by light therapy Ref3
  • Atypical: thought to be most common type of depression and sometimes considered to be a subset of MDD where there is a lack of feeling in legs, oversleeping, overeating, and it is hard to treat although talk therapy is often helpfulRef3&Ref2
  • Adjustment Disorder aka Situational Disorder: 3 times more common than MDD. It Happens when someone is adjusting to something new in their life that causes a great deal of stress. It can be something good or bad  and medication is rarely needed Ref6 and Ref3
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder aka PMDD: Affects 5% of women and much more severe that PMS and happens at second half of menstrual cycle. It can be treated by medication, therapy, and/or nutrition therapies.   Ref3 & Ref5
  • Psychotic Depression: Signs of depression with psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. Of those who suffer from depression, 14-50% suffer from this type. Ref5 & Ref2 & Ref12
  • Catatonic: Someone is speechless and motionless. It is no longer listed as a distinct disorder as it is a specifier for depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD  Ref2
  • Bipolar Disorder: Mood disorders with periods of mania (extreme highs) and often time extreme lows (depression). As of 2018, 1% of Americans had Bipolar 1 Disorder. 46 million people around the world have some sort of bipolar disorder.       Ref12      Ref6
  • Melancholic:  A subtype of Major Depression that’s not very common and very severe causing slow movement and complete enjoyment in everything. It’s persistent and intense  Ref4
  • Endogenous: It is a subset of MDD with persistent and intense feelings of sadness. These  have a negative impact on behavior and mood, sleep and appetite. Ref2
  • Substance Induced: It is “a prominent and persistent disturbance of mood that is  due to the direct physiological effects of a substance” like alcohol or drugs. It is usually diagnosed when the person is intoxicated or in withdrawal.  Ref8
  • Cyclothymic: Chronic condition with alternating periods of highs and lows lasting at least two years that’s less severe than MDD and often described as a mild form of bipolar disorder Ref4 & Ref10
  • Treatment Resistant:  Several different methods of treatment have been tried including medication, therapy, diet change, etc and nothing has worked. Oftentimes, people are then referred to medical doctor to see if there is a medical cause that could be causing depression. Ref9
  • Holiday: “The stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment” Ref2
  • Geriatric aka Subsyndromal Depression: Feelings of sadness occasionally is normal, but lasting depression is not normal for the elderly.  It doesn’t meet criteria for MDD, but affects approximately 5 million elderly people. It can lead to MDD if left untreated. Depressed elderly are at high risk for suicide. “Although senior citizens comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for 16 percent of all suicides in 2004” Ref11 and Ref2

18 Types of Depression

2 thoughts on “18 Types of Depression

  1. Pingback: Types of Mental Disorders | Bipolar Bandit

  2. Pingback: Types of Mental Disorders by Bipolar Bandit (Michelle Clark) – Shannon Mick

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