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Major Depression and Depression Disorders

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. Symptoms must be present for two week in order to be diagnosed. 

Depressive Disorders Include:


Persistent Depressive Disorder -  (also called dysthymia) is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.

Perinatal Depression - Women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth.  The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany perinatal depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.


Psychotic Depression - occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as audio and visual hallucinations or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see. The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.


Seasonal Affective Disorder - is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.

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