March 23, 2016

Types of Depression

There are two main types of depression:

  • Depression caused by a negative or disturbing event in your life.
  • Depression which doesn’t seem to have a clear cause – the most common type.


The first of the above two types of depression is easier for you to recover from because the cause of depression is known to you. The first step, therefore, is to deal with the event that triggered your depression. It may have started as a result of a death, an accident, a divorce or any other type of setback. The main problem is the distress that the event causes you. In most cases time is the best healer. For this kind of depression one solution may be to seek help dealing with the cause of the problem. A professional counselor or therapist could be your answer. A service such as online counseling could really help you, why not try it?

The second type of depression is more difficult to deal with as the reason for your problem is not known. This is the most common form of depression. It may vary from a feeling of the “blues” to a feeling that life has no meaning anymore. Two things are important:

– How much depression affects you in your daily life
– How long you have had depression – is it days, weeks or even longer?

The kind of depression where you don’t understand the cause is harder on you because others won’t be so sympathetic as they would have had there been an obvious cause for your depression. If others cannot understand why you are depressed they may be tougher on you and may be less likely to offer you help.

There are many types of depression with various symptoms which can be caused by events in your life or for other reasons such as genetic factors. Let’s look at some of these now.

Winter Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Seasonal Affective DisorderThis is very common in countries which have cold, cloudy winters and little daylight or sunshine. It affects about 5% of people in western countries such as the US or the UK. I used to live in England and did suffer from this kind of depression. Now I live in Turkey and the difference is incredible. Sometimes the weather is fantastic – sunny and warm even in winter! It can affect your mood but everybody is different, if you are very sensitive to weather change you may suffer from depression at this time of year. So what can you do about it?

Get under bright lights for a few hours a day. Try brightening your home up and making it as light as possible with warm colours. I don’t suggest a winter holiday to warmer climes as when you come back you could be in a worse state than before. Play some summery music! Don’t let SAD ruin your life.

Postnatal Depression

This is a common form of depression and affects about 50% of mothers in the first few days after the birth. This is known as the”baby blues” and normally lasts a few days. Hormonal changes, a sense of anti-climax after all the anticipation and waiting, and other worries associated with the experience of having a new baby can be some of the causes.

10% of mothers, however, suffer symptoms like restlessness, tiredness, inability to cope, even hostility to the baby. Antidepressants are normally prescribed. Postnatal depression is a problem to watch out for because mothers who suffer may be unable to properly look after themselves and their baby. Support is very important and in cases of mild depressive symptoms, friends and family can play a vital role in helping the sufferer.

Bipolar Disorder

This depression is a mood disorder with manic episodes. Mood cycles vary with each person. These swings can be quick but mostly they are slow changes. Research  suggests strong genetic influence in bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder normally begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. This illness can be effectively treated, and must be, as it’s very serious. As a result, consulting a doctor is essential. I highly recommend you read this article: Borderline Personality Disorder v Bipolar Disorder.

Manic Depression

This kind of depression includes abnormally intense or irritable moods, that last for a week or more, and includes behaviour disturbances and erratic thinking which cause problems in coping with life.

Manic-depressives suffer from violent mood swings. Severe depression, “the blues,” and normal mood are all points on the mood swing.

Should you be unfortunate enough to suffer from Bipolar Disorder or any type of manic depression you must see a doctor and seek psychological help. It is too serious to suffer alone and try to cope by yourself. It is also important to be correctly diagnosed first before beginning any treatment.

Psychologists provide support, education, coping skills training, monitor depression symptoms and encouragement to continue medical treatment. The psychiatrist monitors the medication that is necessary.

Most people with manic depressive illness can be helped with treatment but many do not seek the help they need.

Male Depression

In the United states alone there are approximately five million cases of male depression each year.

As was mentioned at the beginning of this page, there are two general descriptions of depression – Overt and Covert. Overt depression is visible. Covert depression is hidden. What you see are the signs or the defences a man is using to run away from his negative feelings. These can be drinking, womanizing, acting aggressively and becoming isolated.

Another major symptom can be irregular patterns of sleep or insomnia. Other symptoms affecting depressed men include fatigue and irritability. This may also develop into anger. Constant negative thinking may also cause a lack of concentration and focus so that career and personal life is affected. These can become serious issues which have consequences that strengthen the downward spiral towards more unhappiness.

Male depression is five times more likely to be covert than overt. Women can be covertly depressed but generally this is less common, as women tend to be more expressive and open to seeking treatment. Women, therefore, have a healthier attitude towards seeking help if they feel they need it. Informing yourself is always a good idea, so find out more about depression and its effects here.

Depression in men often is the root cause behind violence and can sometimes cause these men to beat their wives, partners or children.

Depression is treatable and these men need therapy. Unfortunately, covertly depressed men rarely seek help. It is almost always others (who persuade them to initiate therapy).

If you recognise this in yourself please get help – you owe it to yourself and to those you live with and who love you.

Recommended Reading

#1 Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn’t Teach You and Medication Can’t Give You

#2 Overcoming the secret legacy of Male Depression

#3 An Unquiet Mind – a remarkable personal testimony: the revelation of her own struggle since adolescence with manic-depression