Major clinical depression
Major clinical depression is also referred to as major depressive disorder, unipolar depression, or simply ‘depression’. It is diagnosed when symptoms of depression last more than two weeks, and negatively impact on everyday functioning.
Dysthymia is deemed as a less milder form of depression, however, symptoms last longer. It is diagnosed when depression continues over two years.
Melancholia is a severe form depression that causes slowed movement and a complete loss of pleasure in everything, or almost everything.
Psychotic depression occurs when a person experiencing depression has a distorted view of reality, and delusional thinking. Psychotic features may include hallucinations, when the person sees things or hears things that are not there and/or delusions, which include false beliefs, not shared by others in their culture or community. Examples of delusional thoughts include thinking you are being watched or under surveillance, believing you are an evil person and paranoid that everyone is against you or causing your health issues.
Antenatal and postnatal depression
These types of depression occur during pregnancy and/or post the birth of a child. An estimated 16% of women in Australia will experience depression within 3 months of the birth of their baby, and 10% experience depression during pregnancy.
To find out more about postnatal depression visit Beyond Blue.
This depression may include a fear and sensitivity of rejection by others, sleeping excessively, and overeating.
Bipolar disorder affects 2% of the population. Symptoms include periods of depression and also periods of elevated moods (hypomanic).
Cyclothymic disorder is often described as a milder form of bipolar disorder. The person experiences chronic fluctuating moods over at least 2 years, involving periods of hypomania (a mild to moderate level of mania) and periods of depressive symptoms, with very short periods (no more than 2 months) of normality between. The duration of the symptoms is shorter, less severe and not as regular, and therefore does not fit the criteria of bipolar disorder or major depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
SAD is not common in Australia but is related to experiencing depression, usually during winter, due to a lack of exposure to sunlight.