Types of Depression
Depressive disorders come in different forms, as do other illnesses, such as heart disease. Within these types, there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.
Major Depressive Disorder
MDD is a combination of symptoms (see symptoms list) that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. These disabling episodes of depression can occur once, twice, or several times in a lifetime.
Dysthymia refers to long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep people from functioning at "full steam" or from feeling good. Sometimes, people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes.
Formerly known as manic-depression, this is a chronic, recurring condition that includes cycles of depression and elation or mania.