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What is depression?

By Ann Griffin

Depression is a mood disorder which results from a variety of factors related to biological and genetic background, environmental influences, and childhood or developmental experiences. There are many types of depression.

Depression is classified into the following types:
  • Major or clinical depression (or unipolar) - severe depression
  • Dysthymic disorder - mild but persistent (at least 2 years) depression
  • Unspecified depression - depression symptoms fall between major and dysthymic depression
  • Bipolar disorder (manic depression) - full mania and major depression (I) or hypomania and major depression (II)
  • Cyclothymic disorder - mild mania and depression
  • Adjustment disorder - depression caused by environmental changes
  • Medication-, substance- or illness-induced depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Post-partum depression

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