Depression : Symptoms and Types of Depression

What is meant by Depression?

Depression is an extremely common psychiatric condition. It is the most common of the affective disorders (disorders of the mood). It ranges from a mild condition to a severe depression which is accompanied by hallucinations and delusions.

It is the major cause of disability and premature death in most of the nations at present. The depressed individuals are not only prone to suicidal tendency but also die from other reasons like heart diseases or cancer.

Symptoms of Depression:

The symptoms of depression include emotional and biological components.

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Misery
  • Apathy
  • Pessimism
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling of guilt
  • Inadequacy
  • Ugliness
  • Indecisiveness
  • Loss of motivation

Biological Symptoms:

  • Retardation of thought
  • Retardation of actions
  • Loss of libido
  • Disturbance of sleep
  • Loss of appetite

Types of Depression

There are two types of depressive syndrome namely

  1. Unipolar depression: Mood swings are always in the same direction.
  2. Bipolar depression: In this disorder depression alternates with the mania.

Characteristics of Mania:

Mania is exactly opposite to that of the depression and is characterised by

  • Excessive exuberance
  • Enthusiasm
  • Self-confidence
  • Impulsive actions

These signs are often combined with irritability, impatience, delusions and aggression. The mood and actions will be inappropriate to the circumstances.

1. Unipolar depression:

Unipolar depression is commonly non-familial. It is mainly associated with stressful life events. It is accompanied by the symptoms of anxiety and agitation. It is referred to as the reactive depression.
Some other cases which are cases of endogenous depression show a familial pattern and are not related to the external stresses. It has different symptoms.

2. Bipolar depression:

Bipolar depression usually appears in early adult life. It is less common disorder and results in oscillating depression and mania over a period of few weeks. It is thought to be due to a strong hereditary tendency but no specific susceptible genes have been identified so far by genetic linkage studies of affected families or by comparing affected and non-affected individuals.

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