Depression is a very serious mental health condition. One that if not properly taken care of can lead to suicide. While there are tons of types of depression, they're still all bad and should be dealt with. So here are the 10 widely known levels of depression:
1. Normal Depression
Normal depression, also known as mild depression, is a level of depression that is common and often overlooked. It may not be severe enough to require intervention or even be noticed by the person experiencing it. Normal depression can occur at any age and have many different causes.
The symptoms of normal depression are similar to those of other levels of depression, such as major depressive disorder or dysthymia. These symptoms include sadness and low energy levels, but they are not severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Normal depression can be caused by many different factors, including genetics, stressors in one's environment, or brain chemistry changes.
2. Mild Depression
Mild depression is a level of depression that can be treated by lifestyle changes, medication and therapy.
Mild depression is an emotional state where you feel down and sad. It's not as severe as moderate or severe depression. You may have times when you feel cheerful and happy, but at other times, you feel sad or depressed.
If you've experienced mild depression for a long time, you might notice that it's affecting your life in ways that make it difficult for you to do things like work or study. Depression can also cause physical symptoms such as fatigue and headaches.
3. Moderate Depression
Moderate Depression is a level of depression that can cause some impairment in functioning. People with moderate depression usually have some symptoms of depression, such as sadness or loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
They may also feel hopeless about the future and have trouble sleeping. Their appetite may change, and they may feel tired and find it difficult to concentrate. Milder levels of depression include dysthymia (chronic but mild) and reactive depression (a reaction to a stressful event).
It is not severe enough to require hospitalization, but it can interfere with normal functioning. People with moderate depression may feel sad, anxious, or empty; they may lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed; they may experience changes in appetite or sleep patterns; and they may have difficulty concentrating.
4. Severe Depression
Severe depression is a level of depression, or a diagnosis. It's not a single condition, but rather a group of related symptoms that fall into three main categories:
Emotional symptoms are the most prominent. These include feelings of sadness and hopelessness, as well as feeling worthless, guilty or irritable.
Physical symptoms can include changes in appetite or sleep patterns, fatigue and loss of energy.
Cognitive symptoms include problems concentrating and remembering things. You may also have trouble making decisions or carrying out day-to-day tasks.
If you have severe depression, you may also struggle with suicidal thoughts or actions. Suicidal thoughts aren't always a sign that someone plans to commit suicide; some people with severe depression just want to end their pain — even if it means ending their life.
It's important to understand that severe depression isn't just about feeling sad for a few days or weeks; it's an ongoing problem that can last for months or years without treatment.
5. Major Depression (clinical depression)
Major Depression is a level of depression. It's also called clinical depression or major depression, and it's the most severe kind of depression.
Major Depression is characterized by long-lasting feelings of sadness and loss, as well as an inability to experience pleasure in activities that used to bring you joy.
In addition to feeling sad, many people with Major Depression experience changes in their sleep patterns (they either sleep too much or not at all), changes in their weight (either gaining or losing weight), and changes in their appetite (either eating more than usual or hardly eating at all).
It's important to remember that only 5% of people who experience these symptoms go on to develop Major Depression. But for those who do, the condition can be life-threatening if left untreated.
6. Dysthymia (chronic or long-lasting depression)
Dysthymia is a milder form of depression that lasts for at least two years. It's also known as chronic depression or persistent depressive disorder.
People with dysthymia can have most of the symptoms of major depression, such as feelings of sadness and hopelessness, changes in sleep or appetite, low energy and difficulty concentrating. But their symptoms don't meet the criteria for a major depressive episode.
The symptoms of dysthymia may come and go over time, but they usually last at least two years. If you have dysthymia, it's likely that you'll have periods when you feel better and periods when you feel worse. Some people with dysthymia can function well while they're feeling good, but they still experience long periods of low mood.
Dysthymia can be so difficult to recognize because it looks like ordinary unhappiness rather than clinical depression. People who are depressed often withdraw from others and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed — but that isn't always true for people who have dysthymia.
7. Postpartum Depression (depression after childbirth)
Postpartum depression is a level of depression that occurs after childbirth. It can be caused by hormonal changes, or it may be a result of the stress of caring for a newborn. Postpartum depression symptoms include sadness and anxiety, as well as anger, guilt, irritability, and restlessness.
A woman who experiences postpartum depression may also experience symptoms of anxiety and/or panic attacks. These symptoms include feeling like she's losing control, feeling like she's going to die or pass out, having trouble breathing or swallowing, being afraid she'll do something terrible to her baby (like throw him out the window), having chest pains or palpitations, feeling numbness or tingling sensations in the hands or feet (in one or both), experiencing dizziness when standing up too quickly, sweating profusely without exertion (such as walking down the stairs), having an upset stomach or diarrhea for no apparent reason.
Postpartum depression can occur at any time during pregnancy but is most common within 4-6 weeks after giving birth; women who have experienced postpartum depression once are more likely to experience it again than those who have not had this experience before.
8. Bipolar Disorder (manic depression)
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mood disorder in which the sufferer experiences extreme highs and lows. The condition can affect people of all ages, races, and ethnic groups.
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that affects more than 2 million American adults. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe mood swings that range from periods of extremely high energy and irritability to deep sadness and despair.
The term “bipolar” refers to the wide swing in moods between two extremes: manic (high) episodes, when you feel euphoric, energetic or irritable; and depressive (low) episodes when you feel sad, hopeless or irritable.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of mania (or hypomania) and depression that significantly impair your ability to function in daily life over a period of at least one year. Each episode lasts for at least seven days but may be shorter if it's severe enough to require hospitalization.
A manic episode is characterized by a distinct period of abnormally elevated energy level, euphoria or irritability combined with a decreased need for sleep without experiencing feelings of tiredness that usually characterizes depression.
9. Schizophrenia (a severe mental disorder with symptoms such as difficulty discerning what is real and unreal)
When you're depressed, it's hard to think of anything but how much your life sucks. You might be reluctant to go out in public and interact with other people because you don't want them to see how low you are. You might feel like all your friends are abandoning you and leaving you alone to deal with your depression.
When someone is experiencing schizophrenia, they may feel like everyone is out to get them, or that they're being watched by an unknown force—like a demon or demon-possessed person. They might also hear voices that tell them things that aren't true, like “You should kill yourself,” or “You're a terrible person.”
These thoughts can make someone very anxious and afraid of what the future holds for them. It's easy for a person experiencing these symptoms to feel hopeless about their situation, which is why some people turn toward drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with their anxiety and depression.
10. Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent Depressive Disorder is a level of depression between major depressive disorder and dysthymia. It is characterized by depressive symptoms that last for at least two years. The symptoms must cause significant impairment in work, social life, or relationships with others to be diagnosed as PDD.
The exact cause of PDD is not known, but it may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are also several risk factors that may make someone more likely to develop the condition, such as having a family history of depression or other mental illnesses.
People with persistent depressive disorder have episodes of major depression that last at least two years without any periods of remission lasting longer than two months between episodes. They also have other symptoms such as fatigue, low self-esteem, sleep problems and loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. In addition, they may have other mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders or substance use disorders along with their persistent depression.
In summary, depression is a serious medical condition. It should never be taken lightly and can be extremely debilitating if not treated properly by a medical professional. If you feel that you or someone you know may be struggling with depression, speak to your doctor about it. There are resources available for those struggling to cope.
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