Types of Depression
Major depressive episode
Major depressive episodes are sometimes referred to as major depressive disorder when more than one episode occurs or an episode is particularly lengthly. It is also otherwise known as clinical or unipolar depression and consists of symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Generally, there is a loss of interest and pleasure in activities that would have previously been enjoyed and symptoms are experienced most days of the week for at least two weeks and interfere with all parts of life. Where many physical symptoms are present the depression may be referred to as ‘melancholia’ – this is a particularly severe form of depression usually associated with many neuro-vegetative features. The person may appear to have had a complete loss in pleasure for anything and may even begin to move slower physically. Social relationships are severely affected.
Major depression with psychotic features
Occasionally people with a depressive disorder can begin to lose touch with reality completely and experience hallucinations or delusions – seeing or hearing things that are not really there or falsely believing things that are not shared by others. They may become paranoid and feel as though everyone is watching them or against them or feel that they are the bad cause of everything around them. This is a severe form of depression which requires immediate medical attention and hospitalisation.
Overall, remember that all depression is treatable and effective treatments are available.
The earlier you seek support, the better.