depression symptoms and types
I have divided this into "onset" and "long-term" symptoms, because my experience of depression has been that the illness grows over time to swamp the entire life rather than just specific areas. Also, these symptoms are not a comprehensive list, since different personalities react differently to depression. This is made up mostly of how it affected me, with some research to back it up.
Possible Depression Onset Symptoms
- Unusual appetite (either eating more or less than normal)
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Self-imposed isolation for longer than usual
- Either sleeping very little or sleeping as much as possible
- Hard time concentrating or expending energy on anything
- Unusually low grades/work performance, school/workplace disruptions
- Irrational anger or tears (not necessarily sadness, just crying)
- Low to no interest in cleanliness/hygiene, clothing, or anything material
- Feeling abnormally hopeless, guilty, aggravated, and/or jittery all the time
Possible Long-Term Depression Symptoms
- Apathy about current events, almost a "doomsday" attitude ("it's all going to be gone someday anyway, so why care?")
- Expressed worry about death, somehow blended with a desire to be done with life
- Looking forward to death as an escape and rest
- Stress- or anxiety-related injuries, like tooth grinding, stomach ulcers, etc.
- Increased illness due to a lowered immune system
- Higher chance of inflammation/infection in the body
Types of Depression
- Major Depression: A "hurricane" of despair and nothingness; a severely disabling mental and emotional illness. I most likely experienced an episode of major depression during my fifth lapse.
- Dysthymia/Persistent Depressive Disorder: Like living in light rain under gray skies for years on end, with no real sunshine; it doesn't really keep you from doing anything, but it feels like you've forgotten how to feel happy. I most likely experienced true dysthymia during my third lapse, but indeed I may have been experiencing it since childhood, since childhood onset of dysthymia is possible.
- Psychotic depression: Depression with hallucinations, delusions, paranoias, and breaks with reality. I don't know whether I've had this for sure, but in the darkest moments of my fifth lapse, I had very negative, strange, out of character thoughts which may have amounted to a type of psychosis.
- Postpartum depression: Depression (either major or dysthymic) after giving birth.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder: A "lighter" form of depression, like dysthymia, which occurs with the seasons. Fall/winter S.A.D. leaves the sufferer feeling sluggish and fatigued, while spring/summer S.A.D. typically makes the sufferer feel so agitated/anxious they can't sleep. (I have never been diagnosed with this, but I recognize myself in both sets of symptoms!)