Types of depression include:
- major depressive disorder - also called major depression, characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to eat, sleep, work, study and enjoy previously enjoyable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally.
- dysthymic disorder - also called dysthymia, characterized by long term but less severe symptoms that may prevent a person from functioning normally or feeling well, but it is not usually disabling.
- postpartum depression - diagnosed is a mother develops a major depressive episode within 1 month of delivering a baby.
- seasonal affective disorder - characterized by the onset of a depressive illness during winter months, when there is less natural sunlight.
- bipolar disorder - also called manic-depressive disorder, characterized by mood swings from extreme highs to extreme lows.