Common Types of Depression

Most everybody feels down once in a while; however, for millions of people, such experiences severely impact their day-to-day lives. Losing a loved one, suffering a physical injury or general stress creates prolonged and debilitating feelings of grief, hopelessness and can lead to suicide. However, sometimes depression is sparked b no apparent cause at all. Depression affects about 350 million people worldwide, according to the World Health. It can afflict anyone, regardless of age, gender or background. However, women are more likely to suffer from some form of depression than men.

Although scientists agree that depression is a brain disorder, its causes stem from a combination of biological, environmental and psychological factors. Many depression sufferers have family members who also deal with the condition. At the same time, those with no family history of mental illness can suffer from depression. Either way, many depressed people go years until receiving an official diagnosis; others may go their entire lives without one.

While research into the varying degrees of depression has advanced in the last few decades, experts still face challenges with proper diagnosis and treatment. For starters, depression comes in varying degrees, making treatment options complex. There isn’t a single medication-therapy regimen that treats all depression. As depression research evolves, experts have classified three common types of depression, their symptoms and effective treatment options.

Common Types of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder

The first common type is major depressive disorder (MDD). A person with major depressive disorder feels depressed most of the time, most days of the week. Each year in the U.S., about 7 percent of adults experience major depressive disorder. Typical symptoms include:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in things that used to be enjoyable
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Sleep troubles
  • Fatigued much of the day
  • Intense feelings of worthlessness, guilt
  • Trouble concentrating, indecisiveness
  • Suicidal thoughts

MDD Medication

MDD can be treated with antidepressants, which target the brain’s neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin and norepinephrine. The more popular antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These include fluoxetine, sertraline and citalopram. Another antidepressant that works on dopamine levels in the brain is bupropion.

The older class of medications include tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These medications have more adverse side effects and are typically used for those who have severe depression combined with a condition like anxiety or an eating/sleeping .

Despite the severity of MDD, effective treatment-which usually includes a combination of medication and talk therapy-can help a sufferer improve. In the most severe cases, doctors may suggest a patient try electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which involves triggering seizures which can change the brain chemistry balance.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

The second common depression type is Persistent Depressive Disorder. Those with this type exhibit depression symptoms – many are similar to MDD – that last two years or longer. The main symptoms of persistent depressive disorder include:

  • Change in appetite
  • Sleep troubles
  • Fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble concentrating, indecisiveness
  • Hopelessness

Los Angeles Deep TMS TherapyPersistant Depression Disorder Medication

Persistent depressive disorder is best treated through a combination of therapy and medication. Therapeutic regimens typically consist of one-on-one or group therapy.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar depression, or manic depression, is the third most common classification of depression. Someone who struggles with bipolar will experience mood swings where at times they are energetic and upbeat, and later crash into a depressed state, often with manic episodes of violence and anger.

Bipolar Disorder Medications

Three main medications for bipolar treatment

  • Seroquel
  • Latuda
  • Olanzapine-fluoxetine combination

Antidepressants alone are often avoided, as this may exacerbate the “high” state of bipolar.

For all depression types, the most effective treatment methods entail therapy, medication and personal coping skills. One coping skill more experts are recommending to those suffering with depression is exercise. Though physiological factors affect individuals differently, physical activity can improve all types of depression. Unfortunately, many people cannot find help for their depression symptoms with medication; therefore, the FDA has cleared a new type of depression treatment that is non-invasive, yet highly effective. This is called Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS), developed by Brainsway. This includes daily thirty minute sessions where coils with electromagnetic signals target brainwaves to help with depression symptoms.

For those seeking Los Angeles depression treatments, Westside Neurotherapeutics can provide dTMS. For more information, contact the company by phone at 310.946.0008 or online at


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