Types of depression

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Understanding Depression: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

What is Depression?

Depression is a persistent feeling of low mood that significantly affects everyday life.

Key points about depression:

  • Mild Depression: Allows normal functioning but makes mundane tasks challenging.
  • Severe Depression: Can lead to suicidal thoughts and is life-threatening.

Symptoms of Depression

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling down, restless, or guilty.
  • Isolation, low self-esteem, and hopelessness.
  • Self-criticism and possibly self-harm.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression linked to seasonal patterns:

  • Most severe during late autumn and winter due to reduced daylight.
  • Symptoms may improve or disappear in spring and summer.
  • Common symptoms include low mood, loss of interest, and increased sleepiness.

Treatments for SAD

Effective treatments for SAD include:

  • Lifestyle adjustments such as regular exercise and exposure to natural light.
  • Light Therapy: Using special lamps to simulate sunlight exposure.
  • Talking Therapies: Counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Medications: Antidepressants may also be prescribed.

Postnatal Depression

Postnatal depression affects new parents:

  • Occurs within weeks to two years after childbirth.
  • Affects around one in ten mothers but can also impact fathers or partners.
  • Signs include persistent low mood, difficulty bonding with the baby, and low self-esteem.

Seeking Help for Depression

Support for depression can be accessed through: