Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by low moods, reduced ability to feel happy and to take pleasure in day-to-day activities, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, changes in appetite, changes in sleep patterns, irritability or agitation, slowed movements and/or thoughts, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, hatred for oneself, reckless behaviour, etc.

Depression can be further subdivided into several different categories: atypical vs. typical, dysthymia vs. major depression, psychotic vs. non-psychotic, melancholic vs. nonmelancholic, bipolar vs. unipolar, etc.

Types of depressionEdit

Major depression is a moderate-severe form of depression, that can lead to suicide. 

Subtypes of major depressionEdit

Atypical depression is characterized by all the symptoms listed above, except the changes in appetite are usually increases in appetite, increases in sleep and the inability to experience pleasure or happiness is not 100%, that is, they are capable of experiencing brief happiness or pleasure but that is it.

Typical depression is characterized by reduced sleep, reduced appetite and the complete inability to experience pleasure or happiness. 

Psychotic depression is an especially severe and rare form of major depression that has additional psychotic features including hallucinations and/or delusions.

Melancholic depression is a rare and severe form of depression too, characterized by inability to experience pleasure, low reactivity of mood (like they could win the lottery and they still would not be any happier), emptiness and being unable to go about life as usual (like having no energy to), mood and energy being especially bad in the morning, poor concentration, inattention and motor signs: retardation and agitation affecting the face, speech and body.

Bipolar depression is depression that is caused by bipolar disorder. 


Dysthymia is long-term, mild depression. 


Its causes are only partially unknown; some cases circumstances like major life traumas.


There are two major treatments types: pharmacological (drugs/herbs) and psychological. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and some people will fail to respond to either or even (rarely) both. 


Pharmacological treatments (PhTs) are usually best reserved for more severe cases of depression, although they may be trialled in milder cases. The major PhTs include herbs and antidepressant drugs.

Hypericum perforatum or St. John's wort, is an antidepressant herb used, primary, in the treatment of mild-moderate depression.

Antidepressants can be divided into six major categories, based on their pharmacology or chemistry: atypical antidepressants (ATAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-noradrenaline (or norepinephrine) reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Usually the SSRIs and ATAs are favoured as first-line treatments, due to the fact that the difference between the efficacy of the antidepressants is minimal and these agents tend to produce less problematic side effects.


Psychological treatments (PsTs) work best for people where negative attitudes,[note 1] feelings[note 2] and/or behaviours are contributing to the condition, or where grief[note 3] may be contributing to the condition. The major forms of PsTs that are used to treat depression include: cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy and family therapy. PsTs are considered the most effective treatments for mild-moderate cases of depression. People with moderate-severe depression may benefit from PsTs, but most quacks (including psychiatrists) will recommend drug therapy in these cases. 

See alsoEdit


  1. Like thinking everything is their fault or guilt over something that is not their fault
  2. Like feeling their life is not worth living
  3. Like over someone dying, a divorce, loosing friends as they move away, fights, etc.

External linksEdit

  1. Better Health Channel entry
  2. Medscape Reference entry
  3. Merck Manual Home Edition entry
  4. NPS MedicineWise entry