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The Types of Depression

By Chi Phan, Counsellor and Life Purpose Coach 

The Different Types of Depression

Depression is the one of the most prevalent psychological problems in Australia. Generally it has been found that more women suffer depression than men.

Major Depressive Disorder

This involves at least 2 weeks of depressed mood and at least four other accompanying symptoms:

 *Thoughts of suicide and/or suicide attempts.

 *feelings of worthlessness or guilt

 *diminished concentration or indeciveness nearly every day

 *motor restlessness or slowed movements which is  observable

 *Lack of energy or fatigue nearly every day

 *Too much sleep (hypersomnia) or not being able to sleep (insomnia)

 *Loss of appetite or increase in appetite, or significant weight loss or weight gain

Major Depressive Disorder encompasses many different variations

Major depressive disorder with melancholic features

may experience inability to experience any pleasure, usually low moods are worse in the mornings, psychomotor retardation or agitation, anorexia, weight loss and/or excessive guilt

Major depressive disorder with peripartum onset

This occurs during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth


Major depressive disorder with catatonic features

includes immobility or purposeless activity


Major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns

also known as SAD. Normally happens during Autumn and winter months when there is less light. This is rare in Australia and mainly happens to people living in the northern hemisphere.


Major depressive disorder with mixed features

includes periods of elevated moods

Major Depressive Disorder with anxious distress

where it is accompanied by significant anxiety

Dysthymic Disorder

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Chi Phan | Chi Phan Seminars and Counselling
Chi Phan BA Psychology and Counselling, Depression Counsellor and Life Purpose Coach
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Dysthymic disorder is a milder form of depression but is more chronic (longer lasting).

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is where there is severe and persistent irritability accompanied by angry outbursts.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can often be overlooked or misdiagnosed as unipolar depression. There are 2 types of this disorder- Bipolar 1 and II.

Bipolar 1

In Bipolar 1, the individual experiences periods of mania or elevated mood. They can also experience depressed mood but this is not always present in all individuals. During a manic episode the individual can experience elevated mood, irritability, abnormal and persistent goal- directed energy and activity. In addition to this they can also have a greater sense of self esteem, grandiosity, sleep disturbance, pressure to speak, distractibility, lots of ideas, risk taking and/or heightened activity. In times of mania some individuals has been known to be very creative and can produce work beyond what most are capable of. However not all individuals will have this creative surge during a manic episode. The flipside is that many can make rash decisions on high levels of motivation which can have negative consequences. Some decisions may even be detrimental to their health or future. Some individuals require hospitalization in periods of mania and it can effect their normal daily functioning. They can also experience hallucinations and delusions.

Bipolar II

In Bipolar II, the individual experiences depressive periods as well as hypomanic episodes. Hypomanic episodes are less severe than manic episodes where the individual will not experience hallucinations or delusions. The hypomanic episode will not normally effect their normal daily functioning and will not require hospitalization. These episodes are also shorter in duration.

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