What is Depression?
La trough it is a psychiatric pathology marked by a decrease in mood, by dejection and psycho-physical prostration.
A fairly common condition, depression is a disorder that can affect both adults - young and old - as well as children.
Depression affects both men and women; however, several estimates suggest it is more common in the female population.For further information: Depression: What is it, Symptoms and How to Treat It?
Types of Depression
there different forms of depression, which can be differentiated on the basis of the causes, the symptomatological and chronological characteristics, and the age of onset.
Below, the article gives a brief description of the most well-known types of depression, with the exception of clinical depressive disorder (for which further information is recommended at the link below).For further information: Clinical Depressive Disorder
La masked depression occurs through somatic symptoms such as gastrointestinal (abdominal cramps, diarrhea), heart (palpitations) or respiratory (wheezing) disturbances. Some of the non-affective aspects of depression are then amplified.
La anxious depression includes symptoms that are more often reminiscent of anxiety disorder, such as panic attacks or agitation.
In the hypochondriac variant, the subject is tormented by the fear of having a disease; in the most serious cases, the subject is certain that he has a disease, with delirium that is removable and is at high risk of suicide.
La atypical depression manifests itself with symptoms such as: panic attacks, hypersomnia and continuous sleepiness during the day, hyperphagia and weight gain, irritability, high sensitivity to the judgment of others and to loss or separation from a family member.
It is the signal that many of the manifestations listed above tend to get worse in the evening.
La steroid dysphoria represents a particular form of atypical depression.
This disorder mainly affects the female sex; in particular it manifests itself in those women who have character traits, in which an intense concern for the judgment of others prevails, a marked sensitivity to frustrations, the tendency to dramatize an experience of rejection (especially in the sentimental field) and difficulty in tolerate interpersonal conflicts.
Subjects with histeroid dysphoria have a excessive emotional response towards environmental stimuli.
In case of events, even if not particularly negative, they present reactions such as mood depression, suicidal ideas, severe asthenia, alcohol abuse, tendency to stay in bed in a stupor; on the contrary, in case of particularly positive events, they show a reaction of joy, contentment and even euphoria, they feel particularly energetic, active and dynamic and can sometimes manifest impulsiveness.
Individuals suffering from histeroid dysphoria show an alteration at the level of the pleasure system: in fact, they are unable to actively seek it; however, if they are carried away by other people, they are able to enjoy pleasant situations.
La agitated depression it is marked by marked psychomotor agitation, with irritability, agitation, inability to relax, motor restlessness, and sometimes suicide attempts.
The individual with agitated depression is tense, restless, talks excitedly, writhes, constantly moves his limbs and trunk, and is sometimes unable to remain seated; moreover, it often has vegetative symptoms such as insomnia and hyporexia.
Finally, in the presence of agitated depression, it is not uncommon for the mood to present dysphoric tints (bad mood, anger, irritability).
It should be noted that sometimes agitated depression is the consequence of abrupt discontinuation of treatment with benzodiazepines.
Depression with Psychotic Manifestations
Also known as depressive episode with psychotic symptoms depression with psychotic manifestations it represents about 10% of all types of depression.
Typical characteristics of this form of depression are the presence of delusions and hallucinations in association with the classic depressive symptoms; the presence of delusions and hallucinations, among other things, is often a reason for misdiagnosis, with the disorder in question being mistaken for schizophrenia.
Generally, depression with psychotic manifestations carries a significant risk of suicide and, also for this reason, requires thehospitalization of the patient.
There is talk of amential depression when depression is also accompanied by organic type disorders for example affecting the brain, heart or having to do with infections.
This combination can lead to a slowing down of psychomotor activity and even stopping it.
The individual suffering from amential depression remains in bed in a state of immobility, does not eat, has mental confusion, hallucinations, changes in the sleep-wake rhythm.
It is important to remember that in the absence of adequate medical support and therapy, the persistence of this form of depression leads to serious somatic problems that can lead to death.
La Cotard syndrome it is a rare form of depression that generally occurs in elderly individuals with organic brain problems and previous manic-depressive attacks.
Generally, it is characterized by anxiety and affective depersonalization; often, even for nihilistic delusions, ie the sick subject is convinced that he no longer possesses some internal organs (such as heart and liver).
People with Cotard syndrome can deny their own existence, but also that of their families or that of the world; they also tend to develop ideas of physical enormity and immortality.For further information: Cotard syndrome
Also known as depressive episode with melancholy endogenous depression it is not attributable to conscious or semi-conscious triggering events, nor to other environmental factors; rather, it is triggered by genetic-biological causes or unconscious present in the patient's personality.
It is frequent the familiarity for i mood disturbances: probably, there is inheritance not of the disease, but of a certain vulnerability or a depressive character.
Endogenous depression is characterized by: loss of the ability to feel pleasure, loss of energy and motivation, psycho-motor slowdown or agitation, sleep disturbances; moreover, it can also manifest itself with loss of appetite and weight reduction (it can therefore lead to states of starvation) or with weight gain.
The patient with endogenous depression is fully functional on the socio-occupational level. Often, he is a very precise, scrupulous, methodical person, very tied to duty.
Usually, the symptoms of endogenous depression are worse in the early hours of the day and improve in the evening.
La reactive depression comes as a result of painful events, such as bereavement, separation, or failure.
From the point of view of symptoms, there is a prevalence of emotional weakness, insomnia and lasting sadness; the reaction is disproportionate and excessive compared to the real entity of the sad event.
Pure reactive depression does not exist and the traumatic event can trigger it only in the presence of one endogenous vulnerability.
La secondary depression it is a type of depression that occurs following a organic diseases o after some drug treatments (e.g. corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, androgens, etc.).
For example, the diseases that most favor the onset of secondary depression are multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and trauma to the brain. In addition, diseases that affect the endocrine system, such as hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, Cushing's disease, some infectious diseases, such as HIV or syphilis, and many neoplasms have also been shown to be contributing factors. onset of the so-called secondary depression.
La childhood depression affects children under the age of ten.
In addition to the classic symptoms of depression, these children display a tendency toisolation or crying for no reason, have low self-esteem, thoughts of death and loss of interest. Alongside these disorders, somatic symptoms may also arise, characterized by vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, anxiety and fear.
Sometimes, the child suffering from childhood depression may also hear voices, known as auditory hallucinations.
As the name suggests, the adolescent depression affects teenagers.
In individuals of this age group, depression occurs because of the easy mood irritability; it is known, in fact, that the adolescent often has the feeling of not being understood, or of not being listened to.
The adolescent suffering from depression can go through periods in which his academic performance drops and in which he stops social activities; it could also happen that, in these periods, the subject uses drugs alone or in association with alcoholic substances, making the pathological picture much more serious.
La senile depression affects the elderly people between 60 and 70 years and is accompanied by anxiety, agitation, irritability, hypochondria and frequent auditory hallucinations.
In older patients, the disorder has a longer duration and tends to become chronic.
The clinical picture is complicated because, in addition to senile depression, there are concomitant factors that can occur, such as memory and learning disorders, a physiological motor slowdown, mental confusion and space-time disorientation.
La postpartum depression it is the form of depression to which women are most exposed during the period following childbirth.
In postpartum depression, the most overt episodes generally occur within one month of the baby's birth. The woman experiences emotional lability, disorientation, agitation and delusions from not being able to care for her baby. Sometimes we arrive at much more serious episodes (post-partum psychosis) in which phenomena of infanticide.
Il bipolar disorder (o manic depressive syndrome) is a form of depression characterized by rapid and exaggerated mood swings, which may include irritability, sadness or euphoria, accompanied by insomnia, agitation, or suicidal psychosis.
The onset usually results from particular physical conditions due, for example, to illnesses, childbirth, the use of substances or drugs.
In the absence of adequate treatment, bipolar disorder is a situation that tends to last and can undergo chronicization.
Other Forms of Depression
In addition to the aforementioned forms of depression, there are others which, although they are included among the mood disorders, do not constitute real depressive phenomena. However, they are accompanied by depression, because there is the appearance of a lowering of mood accompanied by sadness o melancholy.
Such ailments include the dysthymia cyclothymia and seasonal emotional disorder, which will be briefly explained below.
Seasonal Emotional Disorder
Seasonal emotional disorder is a type of mood disorder which varies with the seasons.
It generally appears between the ages of 30 and 40, mainly affects women and accounts for about 4-6% of mood disorders.
Seasonal emotional disorder is characterized by a seasonal recurrence of depressive phenomena in autunno and winter, alternating with manic or hypomanic disorders that occur in the spring and in summertime.
As for the symptoms, in winter, they are mostly represented by depressed mood, asthenia, difficulties in work and social relations, lethargy, hyperphagia and reduced libido.
On the contrary, the arrival of the spring season causes in some individuals a change in symptoms opposite to those manifested during the winter season; for example, these individuals experience increased energy, reduced need for sleep and decreased appetite.
The correlation that exists between seasonal emotional disturbance and the course of the seasons has been demonstrated; in fact if an individual in a depressive phase is transferred to one area close to the equator, there is a rapid resolution of the episode, even if the opposite symptoms may occur, ie those related to the summer phase.
Based on these evidences, the experts hypothesized that the symptoms of depression could regress following the daily exposure of the sick subject to an artificial light source that has the same characteristics as that of the sun.
Other articles on Depression
- Depression symptoms;
- Depressive disorders: major depressive episode;
- Major depressive episode symptoms;
- Dysthymic disorder;
- Mania and manic episode;
- Depression - Medicines to treat depression;
- Antidepressants, drugs for depression;
- Remedies for Depression.