Depression is probably the most common
psychological disorder and the one that receives the most
attention. Lately, we hear about millions of Americans being
treated with Prozac and a multitude of other antidepressants.
Everybody seems to know someone who is depressed whether a
family member, a close friend or a co-worker.
Depression makes a person feel sad, hopeless,
worthless, pessimistic and guilty. Often the sufferer has
difficulty concentrating and making decisions, has a loss of
appetite and weight or a weight gain, has difficulty sleeping,
has a lack of energy and sometimes physical symptoms such as
slow movement and speech. Depression must be taken seriously
because of the high rate of suicide associated with it.
Many people are not aware of the many types of
depression besides what is termed unipolar depression where the
sufferer feels melancholic and never feels any highs. A brief
description of manic depression (bipolar disorder), major
depression, atypical depression, psychotic depression and
dysthymia are discussed below.
Major Depression: Major
depression is probably one of the most common forms of
depression. You probably know a handful of people who suffer
from it. The sufferer seems to walk around with the weight of
the world on his or her shoulders. He or she seems disinterested
in becoming involved in regular activities and seems convinced
that he or she will always be in this hopeless state. There is a
lack of interest in sexual activity and in appetite and a weight
Atypical Depression: Atypical
depression is a variation of depression that is slightly
different from major depression. The sufferer is sometimes able
to experience happiness and moments of elation. Symptoms of
atypical depression include fatigue, oversleeping, overeating
and weight gain. People who suffer from atypical depression
believe that outside events control their mood (i.e. success,
attention and praise). Episodes of atypical depression can last
for months or a sufferer may live with it forever.
Psychotic Depression: Sufferers
of psychotic depression begin to hear and see imaginary things -
- sounds, voices and visuals that do not exist. These are
referred to as hallucinations, which are generally more common
with someone suffering from schizophrenia. The hallucinations
are not "positive" like they are with a manic depressive. The
sufferer of psychotic depression imagines frightening and
negative sounds and images.
people just walk around seeming depressed - - simply sad, blue
or melancholic. They have been this way all of their lives. This
is dysthymia - - a condition that people are not even aware of
but just live with daily. They go through life feeling
unimportant, dissatisfied, frightened and simply don't enjoy
their lives. Medication is beneficial for this type of
Depression: Manic depression can be
defined as an emotional disorder characterized by changing mood
shifts from depression to mania which can sometimes be quite
rapid. People who suffer from manic depression have an extremely
high rate of suicide.