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Types of Depression

Depression is a complex illness with sufferers experiencing a variety of symptoms.

Each sufferer of depression will experience their illness differently and therefore a treatment programme tailored to the individual is key to overcoming the illness and getting life back on track.


Types of depression:

Major depressive disorder

Sufferers have a sense of despair, with symptoms that make it hard to do normal daily tasks such as eating, sleeping, working or being with friends and family

Those suffering with major depression may cry for no obvious reason, may find it incredibly hard to even get out of bed and can often turn to alcohol or drugs to make them feel better. A period of major depression may last for a few weeks or can last several years in its chronic form.

 

Depression and anxiety

The most common mental health condition in the UK is depression with anxiety.

There is often a relationship between the two issues; people who suffer with anxiety can be left feeling emotionally drained and hopeless about how they will manage in the future which can then cause depression. Equally, people with depression can become fearful of the future and how they will be able to cope with the challenges it brings, which can lead to feelings of anxiety.

Receiving a diagnosis by a qualified, experienced clinician who really knows how to deal with the two conditions is the first step to getting better. The combination of anxiety and depression, although very common, can be difficult to treat because you have to treat both sets of symptoms.

 

Dysthymia / mild depression

The symptoms of dysthymia, which is a less severe type of depression, includes low moods that can, in its chronic form, last for several years.

Sufferers may have short periods of improved mood, but these often do not last more than a few weeks. The term ‘mild’ is misleading; chronic feelings of lowness, lack of energy and sadness can be brutal on all those involved and have a serious impact on the individual’s life. Left untreated 90% of sufferers are likely to develop major depression 1.

 

Cyclothymia

This is a mild form of bipolar affective disorder where sufferers can fluctuate between hypomania and mild depression, sometimes punctuated with spells of feeling ‘normal’.

Cyclothymia can often go undiagnosed because the symptoms are milder, but if undiagnosed there is an increased risk of developing full-blown bipolar at a later stage.

 

Seasonal affective disorder

This condition is normally brought on by the low light levels we experience in the winter months.

It is thought that the low light levels impact on brain activity, resulting in feelings of sadness, lack of motivation and irritability. Treatment options are available for treating SAD, including light therapy.

 

Postnatal depression

This is a serious condition that can have a long lasting impact on a woman and her family.

Coping with a new baby can be extremely tiring and difficult at the best of times, but when the mother is feeling depressed it can be truly difficult to cope. Effective treatment options are available, reaching out early is the first step.

 

Treatment resistant depression

This is a chronic form of depression where the symptoms do not fully improve or keep returning.

Despite the name, treatment options are available; the first step is to get an accurate diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made, medication and talking therapies can be used effectively.

 

Bipolar affective disorder

One of the most difficult to live with types of depression, bipolar affective disorder is a serious illness that sees sufferers fluctuate between low and high moods.

There are several types of bipolar condition; the duration and the severity of the mood can be different for different people. There are some very effective treatment options including medication and talking therapies.

Clinical Partners have a team of experienced clinicians who can successfully assess and treat depression with anxiety.

To speak to someone about how we can help please call 0203 326 9160.

1 Hellerstein, D.J. (2011) Heal your brain: how the new neuropsychiatry can help you go from better to well

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