Identifying the Various Types of Depressive Disorders

  • Posted at Mar 4, 2022
  • Written by Rebecca
Identifying the Various Types of Depressive Disorders

Did you know that there isn’t just one type of depression? In fact, there are a number of different types of depressive disorders. Each depressive disorder has different characteristics and may impact people in different ways. Identifying the various types of depressive disorders can help individuals dealing with depression pinpoint which disorder may be affecting their own life. Thus, giving them the information they may need to make a decision about getting professional help that can assist them with managing the symptoms of their mental health condition.

What are Depressive Disorders?

Depressive disorders are mental health conditions that are characterized by negative symptoms of changed behavior, reduced mood, and unwanted thoughts. These symptoms are debilitating to daily life and can impact how a person interacts with others, their jobs, and their everyday life. The specific causes of depressive disorders and the characterizing symptoms are helpful in identifying the different types of depressive disorders which include:

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

MDD is the type of depressive disorder that most people think of when they think of depression. Diagnostic criteria for this type of depression include experiencing symptoms for a period of two weeks or longer. Characterizing symptoms of MDD may include:

  • low moods
  • weight fluctuations
  • poor hygiene
  • sleep issues
  • apathy in things previously enjoyed
  • exhaustion
  • trouble focusing
  • suicidal thoughts and ideation

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PPD)

This type of depressive disorder showcases symptoms of depression on and off. So, a person living with this disorder may experience the symptoms of depression for some time but then experience a relief of symptoms as time goes on. The intermission of symptoms only lasts for a few weeks – or a couple of months at most – before the symptoms of depression come back again. Symptoms of this type of depression tend to be less severe than symptoms of MDD as they are on and off again, but they can range from mild to serious depending on the person.

Some of the symptoms of PPD can include:

  • irritability and agitation
  • feelings of hopelessness, sadness, shame, and guilt
  • sleep issues
  • low energy
  • difficulty with focusing
  • not eating or eating too much
  • trouble with self-confidence
  • apathy for things once enjoyed
Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar disorders are types of depressive disorders that affect a person’s mood. Typically, bipolar disorders are characterized by two moods; mania and depression. During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorders can experience a wide range of symptoms including:

  • high energy
  • euphoria
  • an impaired sense of self
  • talkativeness
  • trouble with sleeping
  • creativity
  • being easily distracted

Along with manic episodes, the majority of people diagnosed with bipolar disorders also experience depressive episodes. During depressive episodes, people with bipolar disorder may experience:

  • increased anxiety
  • sleep issues like insomnia
  • decreased self-esteem
  • feelings of hopelessness and despair
  • trouble with organization
  • muscle aches and pains

Getting Help for Depressive Disorders at Yellowbrick

Yellowbrick is an outpatient treatment facility that helps people struggling with all types of mental health issues including depressive disorders. Our psychiatric and brain approach to treating the symptoms of mental health issues allows people living with depression to find what works for them and sustain lasting mental wellbeing.

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    Bipolar Disorder

    A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.

    Major Depressive Disorder

    People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.

    Anxiety Disorders

    Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.

    Neuroatypical “Spectrum” Individuals and their Families

    These individuals often experience an extended period of anxiety and disruption as the young person ages out of the structured support settings available through the educational and social services systems.

    Thought Disorder

    A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.

    Personality Disorders

    Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.


    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.


    A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.

    Eating Disorders

    Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.


    A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.

    Adopted Individuals and Families

    We are committed to the developing specialized services for adopted emerging adults and their families.