There are a number of different types of depressions.
- Major depression, also known as clinical depression or unipolar depression, is classified as a type of affective disorder (also called mood disorder) that goes beyond the day’s ordinary ups and downs, and has become a serious medical condition and important health concern in this country.
- Dysthymia, also known as dysthymic disorder, is classified as a type of affective disorder (also called mood disorder) that often resembles a less severe, yet more chronic form of major (clinical) depression. However, persons with dysthymia may also experience major depressive episodes at times. In general, dysthymia is less severed but more chronic (on-going) than major depression.
- Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is classified as a type of affective disorder and is characterized by periodic episodes of extreme elation, happiness, elevated mood, or irritability (also called mania) countered by periodic, classic major depression. This type of depression affects males and females equally and often begins in adolescence or early adulthood. Manic depression is likely to run in families and, in some cases, is believed to be hereditary. Family history of substance abuse also increases the risk of developing manic depression.