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Understanding the Different Types of Depression

Understanding the Different Types of Depression

Depression is on the rise in the United States. According to a recent poll, 29% of adults reported being diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives, with 18% saying they currently have depression or are being treated for this mental health condition.

These numbers are the highest in at least the last eight years.

Our team of providers at Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, is committed to improving the mental health of our patients. While the challenges you face may seem overwhelming, we can give you the tools and resources you need to battle back.

Here’s a look at the types of depression people commonly face.

Major depressive disorder (MDD)

This type usually is what people mean when they talk about clinical depression. MDD means you’re experiencing a depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness, lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, changes in your sleep or appetite, and other symptoms.

If you display these characteristics for longer than two weeks, you’re likely diagnosed with MDD.

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)

PDD used to be called dysthymia. It refers to mild or moderate depression that lasts at least two years and includes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and fatigue. PDD is considered to be less severe than MDD.

Postpartum depression (PPD)

This type of depression affects women within four weeks of having a baby. It’s more than just the “baby blues” and can include feelings of sadness, mood swings, trouble bonding with your newborn, social withdrawal, anxiety, and thoughts of hurting yourself or your child.

Untreated PPD can last up to a year.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

PMDD is similar to premenstrual syndrome but also includes mood symptoms such as extreme irritability, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms usually improve a few days after your period starts, but they do interfere with your life each month.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

This form of MDD begins in the fall and winter (when the days are shorter, and there’s less sunlight) and goes away in the spring and summer. SAD may relate to disturbances in your body’s circadian rhythm — it’s more common in areas farther from the equator.

If you’re depressed (or think you might be), our team at Arlington Family Practice wants you to know two things: You’re not alone, and we can help. Call our office at 781-646-4345 or use our online scheduler to set up a time to talk with us.

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