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Main Categories Of Depression:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

  • Bipolar depression

  • Postpartum Depression (PPD)

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

  • Atypical Depression​

To learn more about each main category of depression, check out the rest of the page.


Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is commonly known as clinical depression

  • It affects sleep quality (eg. not being able to sleep or sleeping too long), difficulty for concentrating, feeling worthless and guilty over existing

  • It can cause problems in school or work, and develop further into suicidal thoughts

  • These depressive episodes are separated by around 2 months

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

  • An old name for it: Dysthymia

  • The main difference compare to MDD is the duration of it

  • It has a long lasting period, PDD lasts around 2 years (in adults)

  • People with this depression can experience feelings of sadness, anger, irritability feelings of hopelessness, trouble concentrating

  • Treatment for PDD involves medications and psychotherapy

Bipolar Depression

  • Symptoms of Bipolar Depression: insomnia, unexplained aches/pains, anxiety, and disorganization

  • Usually characterized by extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression)

  • Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year

  • Bipolar Depression can last for 2 years. The risk of suicide is 15 times higher than people without it

Postpartum Depression (PPD)

  • This kind of depression occurs in women who have recently given birth. It is based from hormonal changes in their body 

  • Feelings such as anxiety, trouble bonding with baby, suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting oneself are all common symptoms of PPD

  • It has a large range of effects, in the worst case it can go up to postpartum psychosis (will be confused and possibly hallucinate)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

  • This is a major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern

  • Sometimes this disorder can be triggered by irregular circadian rhythm

Atypical Depression

  • This kind of depression has atypical such as your depressed mood can brighten in response to positive events

  • Other key symptoms include:

    • Increased appetite

    • Sleeping too much

    • Feeling that your arms or legs are heavy

    • Feeling rejected

Where To Get Help 
Available 24/7/365
  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 833-456-4566
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • Gerstein Centre (16 years+): 416-929-5200
  • Talk to your doctor
  • Try to find a therapist either ‘talk therapy’ or psychotherapy

Schimelpfening, Nancy, “7 Common Types of Depression”, Updated on January 13, 2021

Zambon, Veronica, Medically reviewed by Alex Klein, PsyD, “What are the differences between major and persistent depressive disorder?”, May 19, 2020


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