While many people know what depression is, many don't realize there are various types of depressive disorders that affect your mental health differently. In light of National Depression Education and Awareness Month, here's what you should know.
The Most Common Forms of Depression
Major Depressive Disorder
Often referred to as depression, major depressive disorder is a fairly common and serious mental illness characterized by a persistently severe low mood. Not only does major depressive disorder impact the way you feel, but it also negatively affects the way you think and act and can also cause physical issues.
Though symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the condition, they typically include:
- Feeling intense sadness or a feeling of impending doom
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Trouble concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by dramatic shifts in the affected person’s mood, energy, and thinking patterns. Typically, bipolar disorder causes extreme high and low moods, which are called mania and depression.
During manic episodes, a bipolar person may experience an elevated mood that continues to increase to an uncontrollable level. During mania, the affected person may experience impaired judgment and become more likely to make impulsive and reckless decisions.
Depressive episodes are often debilitating for those affected by bipolar disorder. Everyday activities like making minor decisions, bathing, and trying to get enough sleep can be overwhelming.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression typically triggered during the fall and winter when there is less sunlight. SAD is caused by a biochemical hormonal imbalance in the brain that is offset due to shortened daylight hours during the colder months.
While other depression symptoms are also prevalent, it is very common for those affected by SAD to experience fatigue. Rather than losing sleep, the affected person will most likely be sleeping more often than usual.
Seeking Help at Tapestry
If you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, seeking help is the first step toward wellness and recovery. At Tapestry, our treatment programs are dedicated to understanding our clients as whole people with varied life experiences.Whether you have questions about mental health or how to support a loved one struggling with their mental health, we are here for you. Contact us today by filling out a confidential form or give us a call at (844) 299-1343.