Depression: An introduction to Depression

Depression in itself is of various types with different names.

In fact, a senior friend of mine in the field of mental health classified depression into two namely; Clinical and colloquial.

In this post, I will focus on 3 of the types :

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

This is a period of major depression that most often happens during the winter months, when the days grow short and you get less and less sunlight. It typically goes away in the spring and summer. SAD is a mood disorder that has a seasonal pattern.

The cause of the disorder is unclear, but it’s thought to be related to the variation in light exposure in different seasons.

It is characterised by mood disturbances (either periods of depression or mania) that begin and end in a particular season. Depression which starts in winter and subsides when the season ends is the most common.

It’s usually diagnosed after the person has had the same symptoms during winter for a couple of years.

People with SAD are more likely to experience a lack of energy, sleep too much, overeat, gain weight and crave for carbohydrates.

SAD is very rare in Australia and more likely to be found in countries with shorter days and longer periods of darkness, such as in the cold climate areas of the Northern Hemisphere.

  • ‘Situational’ Depression

This isn’t a technical term in psychiatry. But you can have a depressed mood when you’re having trouble managing a stressful event in your life, such as a death in your family, a divorce, or losing your job.

Your doctor may call this “stress response syndrome.”

Psychotherapy can often help you get through this period that’s related to a stressful situation.

  • Atypical Depression

This type is different than the persistent sadness of typical.

It is considered to be a “specifier” that describes a pattern of depressive symptoms.

If you have atypical depression, a positive event can temporarily improve your mood.

Other symptoms include:

Increased appetite

Sleeping more than usual

Feeling of heaviness in your arms and legs oversensitive to criticism


Originally published at Toluse Francis.