Depression, also called Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression, is a significant mood disorder that is, unfortunately, relatively common. The effects of depression are a variety of symptoms affecting how one thinks, personal emotions, and how one reacts to and performs activities, working, and even eating and sleeping. For the diagnosis of depression to be relevant, symptoms must have been demonstrated for at least two weeks.


There are several forms that the depressive disorder may take arising from particular circumstances:


  • The Persistent Depressive Disorder is also called “Dysthymia.” It is a state of depression that persists for at least two years. The person demonstrating this disorder can have intermittent periods of major depression along with times of symptoms that are less severe. But, the critical element is that this condition persists for at least two years.

  • The Perinatal Depression which typically follows childbirth. Thus, it is also called the “baby blues.” It is a generally mild depressive condition combined with anxiety that typically arises in women in about two weeks following childbirth. This is called Postpartum Depression. The symptoms of this form of depression may also be experienced before childbirth. The symptoms are anxiety, feelings of sadness and exhaustion. Often this depression adversely affects the ability of the new mother to carry out her child caring duties an also appropriately caring for herself.

  • The Psychotic Depression is a severe depression which is accompanied by forms of psychosis, such as delusions and/or hallucinations. These symptoms may also be accompanied by various forms of delusions relating to poverty, responsibility, or guilt.

  • The Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is a reaction to conditions, such as sunlight, cloudiness, or the length of daylight. Further, as the word “seasonal” suggests, this condition differs based on the season of the year. In the autumn and winter, it comes on and often worsens, but it is alleviated and even may vanish in the spring and summer. Known also as Winter Depression, SAD symptoms may be withdrawal from social activities, gains in weight, and a desire for sleeping more and longer. These symptoms recur each year with the coming of the winter

  • The Bipolar Disorder is a distinctive form of depression and a disorder of its own, but those suffering from the bipolar disorder experience moods which are the same as those of depressive disorder. The significant element of the bipolar disorder is the fact that they can also experience periods of mania, elation, and “highs” in which he or she may be manic, irritable, or euphoria.



There are also less common forms of depression, such as disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, which occurs in children and adolescents, and the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)



Next: Signs and Symptoms of Depressive Disorders.