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Depression: Know the Types and Classical Signs

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Depression: Know the Types and Classical Signs

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Depression is a disorder characterized by loss of interest, and mood swings, affecting daily life. This article will explain the types and their signs in detail.

Written by

Krishna Kumar

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Preetha. J

Published At March 24, 2018
Reviewed AtJuly 17, 2023


Depression is a common mental illness where there are feelings of sadness, despair, and loss of interest in daily life and activities. It is important to understand that feeling sad is different from clinical depression. While a low mood due to sadness is temporary and situational, depression is a serious condition and all-pervasive. Unlike believed by many, it is not imagined by the patient, and it is not in their control to get back up. Nor are they weak people who cannot boldly face the troubles of life. This is a misunderstanding. Clinical depression is an illness, a disorder. Depression works the same way as any other physical illness, say, ulcer, cancer, or tuberculosis. A person suffering from it cannot do much against it without proper attention and treatment from a psychiatrist.

What Is the Difference Between Depression and Clinical Depression?

Depression and clinical depression are two different things. Depression is just sadness, which everyone suffers at some point, while clinical depression is a disorder or illness in which a person remains sad and despaired for an unreasonably long time. This condition hampers his daily activities as well as the people around him.

There are many symptoms that differentiate sadness from clinical depression. Some of the notable criteria are:

These are some of the notable criteria by which you can judge and differentiate between a person with mere sadness and a patient with clinical depression.

What Are the Types of Clinical Depression?

Clinical depression is an expansive term and covers many different types of depression in it. Doctors often use the term clinical depression for ‘major depression.’ Although there are many different types, none are as severe as major depression. Since many of their symptoms are common, they are grouped under the same disorder.

1. Major Depression:

Major depression is basically clinical depression. It is also known as “unipolar disorder.” The symptoms are the same as some of those mentioned above. It is the most severe type of depression. It occurs in episodes, which may be a single episode, twice, or several times in a person’s lifetime. It is believed to affect people below 40 to 45 years of age. It is severe enough to totally disturb and entangle one’s life and daily activities.

2. Dysthymic Disorder:

This is a less severe form of depression but involves long-term and chronic symptoms. Although it is a less severe form, it still prevents the patient from enjoying his or her life to the fullest. It prevents one from feeling good and acting to one’s full potential.

3. Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. It consists of alternating periods of mania (elevation of mood) and depression. When the manic cycle goes up, a person feels over-energetic and talkative. It may increase their sexual activities with little or no sleep. At this stage, a person might feel that he has superpowers and can do anything, which may bring embarrassment and a lack of ability to work at full potential.

4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):

Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a depression that directly relates to the weather and changes in weather and/or seasons or changes of seasons in a year, and/or brightness and duration of daylight. This sort of depression is often treated by artificial light therapy along with some medications. In this type, exposure to bright sunlight or artificial lights can effectively cure depressed moods.

5. Postpartum Depression:

Most commonly, new mothers are affected by postpartum depression. It has to be treated the same way, with counseling and antidepressants. New mothers affected by depression exhibit characteristics like loss of appetite, difficulty bonding with the child, anger, and frequent panic attacks. People affected by postpartum depression have high chances of developing depression again in later stages of life.

What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Clinical Depression?

  1. The person feels sad and gloomy for an unreasonably long period of time.

  2. The depressed person feels absolutely hopeless, and he thinks that nothing will improve. He will not make attempts to better his situation in any way possible.

  3. A depressed person loses interest in his daily activities as well as his job. He or she does not work at full potential and does not bring out their full ability.

  4. A person with a depressive disorder often does not take an interest in activities that were once his or her favorite hobbies. They often do not take interest in sexual activities and pastimes.

  5. Significant changes in appetite and weight are one of the common symptoms and signs of depression. The change may be more than five percent a month.

  6. Another evident symptom of depression is that the person has changes in the sleep routine. He or she eithersuffers from insomnia (cannot sleep) or hypersomnia (oversleeping).

  7. Another sign of depression is when a person cannot control his temper and anger. He or she turns out to be a violent person. Everything seems to get on their nerves. Sudden outbursts of emotions can be noticed frequently.

  8. Another symptom of depression is the loss of physical energy and strength. Even ordinary tasks seem to take longer than usual. A depressed person feels fatigued and exhausted all the time.

  9. A person with depression disorder often suffers from low self-esteem and blames himself and criticizes himself for the mistakes he has made.

  10. Another symptom of depression is that the person cannot concentrate. He finds trouble in concentration, focus, and/or decision making.

  11. Headaches, physical pain, muscle pain, and stomachache are also witnessed in patients with depression.

  12. Thoughts of death and/or suicide are also considered symptoms of depression. A person suffering from depression especially thinks of suicide with or without reason. Few will think of ways to harm themselves.


Depression is a disorder and not an assumption, it is something everyone should understand. It needs proper treatment to prevent it from affecting our daily life and activities. With proper counseling and medications like antidepressants, depression can be cured. Hesitation and societal fear are the biggest curses of today’s world, deteriorating people’s wellness. The best thing we can do for ourselves while suffering from depression is to seek help from a medical professional.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Meant by Classic Depression?

Classic depression is a state of major depression where the person likes to be in a low or sad mood and loses interest in activities. Symptoms of classic depression include changes in weight or appetite, feeling worthless, loss of energy, and trouble sleeping. Classic depression can be treated successfully if identified early stages.


What Are the Three Main Signs of Depression?

Feeling of tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness, and sadness are the three main signs of depression. Depression is usually associated with low mood and isolation. The signs can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on which may interfere with the daily life and relationship of the person. 


Can a Person Get Rid of Depression?

Getting rid of depression depends upon various factors, such as severity and type of depression. Seeking proper treatment can help the person feel better faster. Depression can be treated easily when recognized at an early stage.


How to Diagnose Clinical Depression?

Clinical depression occurs due to the persistence of symptoms of depression, such as sadness and emptiness, every day for at least two weeks. The diagnosis of clinical depression include self-assessment or observation that is confirmed by a doctor.


What Is an Example of Clinical Depression Associated With Individuals?

An example of clinical depression involves the person suffering from symptoms such as appetite loss, sadness, tiredness, fatigue, and problems with concentration and focus. Sometimes the person may not even recognize that he or she is suffering from depression.


Is Depression a Disease or Mental Illness?

Depression and mental illness are not the same things. Studies describe mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s behavior, mood, or thinking, while depression is usually a state of sadness, anxiety, and loneliness. Depression is not a disease but can lead to mental illness in a person.


Who Mostly Suffers From Depression?

Depression is a very common condition these days, varying from one situation to another at some point in their life. The percentage of people who suffer the most from depression ranges from 18 to 29, followed by age 45 to 64 and over 64. Women are more likely to experience depression as compared to men.


What Is the Commonest Form of Depression?

The most common form of depression is major depression which is presented by symptoms like lloss of pleasure or interest in daily activities. It affects the way of feeling, behaving, and thinking. It usually persists from two weeks to months.


Who Are at More Risk for Depression?

Women are at a higher risk of developing depression. People of all genders, ethnicities, ages, and cultures have the potential to suffer from clinical depression. Depression is very common and unrecognized, and often, it is left untreated.


What Hormone Is Released at the Time of Depression?

Three neurotransmitters are involved in depression: norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Depression mostly affects women in estrogen-producing years, which is linked to mood disruptions. The reduced estrogen level during depression can often lead to anxiety.


Can a Person With Mental Illness Survive Alone?

A person with mental illness can survive alone. However, not everyone can manage or balance their life with depression alone. Having a companion to share the problems and work on things in pairs or groups is best.


How to Know if A Person Is Mentally Unstable?

The person can experience symptoms such as sadness, loss of interest, and fatigue in performing tasks. The counselor can be consulted to help identify whether the person is unstable. A mentally unstable person may not be able to perform daily activities easily.


What Is the Common Cause Associated With Mental Depression?

As such, there is no such cause of depression. It can occur because of various reasons. For some people, depression can be a stressful event or upsetting situation, such as the loss of a job, money, or divorce. It can be a cause of worry for the person.


Is Clinical Depression Considered Hereditary?

Depression is not clearly associated with the pattern of inheritance in the family. People with first-degree relative appears two to three times more likely to develop depression. Depression can occur to anyone, irrespective of family history.


Can Depression Lead to Personality Change?

Typical episodes of depression can lead to personality changes in a person. The person may have a negative impact on their mind due to depression. Depression can lead to irritability and mood swings that affect a person's personality.
Krishna Kumar
Krishna Kumar

Psychologist/ Counselor


bipolar disorderseasonal affective disorderclassical depressionmajor depressive disorder
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