Major Depression Categories

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common yet serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, as well as your daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, job performance and relationships. In order to be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

The major categories of depression have been expanded according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medical Disorders (DSM-5). Each of these disorders, while similar, has distinct differences. 

The major types of depression are:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) – A serious depressed mood most of the time for most days of the week for 2 weeks or longer.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Previously called Dysthmic Disorder) – A persistent depressed mood lasting two years or longer.
  • Bipolar Disorder  (Previously called Manic Depressive Disorder) – Extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” coupled with episodes of extremely low moods.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Periods of major depression that often happen during the winter months, when the days grow short and you get less and less sunlight. 
  • Psychotic Depression – Severe depression accompanied with “psychotic” symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions or paranoia.
  • Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression – Major depression affecting women during pregnancy or in the weeks and months after childbirth.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) – Similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) but more serious. PMDD causes severe irritability, depression, or anxiety in the week or two before the menstrual cycle.

Our Knowledge Base includes detailed information as a guide to help you understand the different forms of depression. Our reports are meant to provide you with insight as to what you or a loved one might be going through periodically, the difficulties they are facing and positive options to improve their lives. Depression is complex and can affect individuals differently. Therefore, only a trained professional has the experience to offer a diagnosis.





This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

Review our Knowledge Base or the links displayed on this page for similar and related topics.