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Types of depressionEdit

Clinical depression is acute or chronic depression severe enough to need treatment and is the preferred term on the Psychology Wiki.

  • Minor depression is a less-used term for a subclinical depression that does not meet criteria for major depression but where there are at least two symptoms present for two weeks.

Major/Clinical DepressionEdit

Major Depression, or, more properly, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), is characterized by a severely depressed mood that persists for at least two weeks, and is generally recognized to contain an organic (chemical) component [citation needed]. Major Depressive Disorder is specified as either "a single episode" or "recurrent"; periods of depression may occur as discrete events or as recurrent over the lifespan. Episodes of major or clinical depression may be further divided into mild, major or severe. Where the patient has already had an episode of mania or markedly elevated mood, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (also called bipolar affective disorder) is usually made instead of MDD; depression without periods of elation or mania is therefore sometimes referred to as unipolar depression because their mood remains on one pole. The diagnosis also usually excludes cases where the symptoms are a normal result of bereavement.

Diagnosticians recognize several possible subtypes of Major Depressive Disorder. ICD-10 does not specify a melancholic subtype, but does distinguish on presence or absence of psychosis.

  • Depression with Catatonic Features - This subtype can be applied to Major Depressive episodes as well as to manic episodes, though it is rare, and rarer in mania. Catatonia is characterized by motoric immobility evidenced by catalepsy or stupor. This MDD subtype may also manifest excessive, nonprompted motor activity (akathisia), extreme negativism or mutism, and peculiarities in movement, including stereotypical movements, prominent mannerisms, and prominent grimacing. There may also be evidence of echolalia or echopraxia. It is very rarely encountered, and may not be a useful category.
  • Depression with Melancholic Features - Melancholia is characterized by a loss of pleasure (anhedonia) in most or all activities, a failure of reactivity to pleasurable stimuli, a quality of depressed mood more pronounced than that of grief or loss, a worsening of symptoms in the morning hours, early morning waking, psychomotor retardation, anorexia (excessive weight loss, not to be confused with Anorexia Nervosa), or excessive guilt.
  • Depression with Atypical Features - Atypicality is characterized by mood reactivity (paradoxical anhedonia) and positivity, significant weight gain or increased appetite, excessive sleep or somnolence (hypersomnia), leaden paralysis, or significant social impairment as a consequence of hypersensitivity to perceived interpersonal rejection. People with this can react with interest or pleasure to some things, unlike most depressed individuals.
  • Depression with Psychotic Features - Some people with Major Depressive or Manic episode may experience psychotic features. They may be presented with hallucinations or delusions that are either mood-congruent (content coincident with depressive themes) or non-mood-congruent (content not coincident with depressive themes). It is clinically more common to encounter a delusional system as an adjunct to depression than to encounter hallucinations, whether visual or auditory.

Other Categories of DepressionEdit

Dysthymia is a long-term, mild depression that lasts for a minimum of two years. There must be persistent depressed mood continuously for at least two years. By definition the symptoms are not as severe as with Major Depression, although those with Dysthymia are vulnerable to co-occurring episodes of Major Depression. This disorder often begins in adolescence and crosses the lifespan. People who are diagnosed with major depressive episodes and dysthymic disorder are diagnosed with double depression. Dysthimic disorder develops first and then one or more major depressive episodes happen later.

Bipolar I Disorder is an episodic illness in which moods may cycle between mania and depression. In the United States, Bipolar Disorder was previously called Manic Depression. This term is no longer favored by the medical community, however, even though depression plays a much stronger (in terms of disability and potential for suicide) role in the disorder. "Manic Depression" is still often used in the nonmedical community.

Bipolar II Disorder is an episodic illness that is defined primarily by depression but evidences episodes of hypomania.

Postpartum depression or Post-Natal Depression is clinical depression that occurs within two years of childbirth. Due to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion combined with sleep-deprivation; motherhood can sensitise women to clinical depression.

Reactive depression refers to an inappropriate state of depression that is precipitated by events in the person's life (to be distinguished from normal grief)arising as a consequence of severe life events.

Endogenous depression

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