From the outside Depression seems so simple, the person is just sad. While sadness is one aspect of depression there are many other symptoms that can go along with it. Just like there are many different types of Depressive Disorders.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5™) there are at least eight different types of Depressive Disorders.

They are:

  1. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
  2. Major depressive disorder
  3. Persistent depressive disorder (Dysthymia)
  4. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  5. Substance/medication induced depressive disorder
  6. Depressive disorder due to another medical condition
  7. Other specified depressive disorder
  8. Unspecified depressive disorder

‘The common feature of all these disorders is the presence of sad, empty, or irritable mood, accompanied by somatic & cognitive changes that significantly affect the individual’s capacity to function. What differs among them are issues of duration, timing, or presumed etiology.’ DSM-5™ pg 155.

Over the centuries people have misunderstood depression. As a society we are finally recognizing the many different types of depression and the causes. This change in view is due in large part to neurological science.

Yet there was a time when people believed that depression was caused by demonic possession.

Depression showed up in written accounts from 2,000 B.C. in Mesopotamia, according to The History of Depression.  Those writings are not only the 1st written evidence of depression but also show how people believed the disorders were caused by spiritual inflictions. A belief that continued throughout many cultures over the many millennia. Those beliefs lead to torturous treatments.

Sigmund Freud was the first to develop talk therapy to treat those with depression. A huge advancement at the time. But was it enough?
No, a lot of people who suffered with these disorders were still considered crazy or possessed by demons.

Thankfully, we now understand that depressive disorders are caused from a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Which has brought about different treatments than just seventy years ago due in part to the scientific advances in medicine.

It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that great strides were made to treat depressive disorders in the medical and scientific communities.  It was during the 1950s and 1960s when doctors discovered a chemical drug used to treat tuberculosis at the time also had a positive effect on patients with comorbid depression – depression that occurs in the presence of another illness. This discovery led doctors to study the effects of pharmacology on depression which in turn brought about other forms of treatment for depressive disorders.

If you or a loved one suffers with depression please seek help from your medical provider.

To learn more about these disorders you can visit:

National Council for Behavioral Health – Homepage

Categories Dark Fantasy, Depression, Mental Health, Uncategorized, writing

3 thoughts on “Depression

  1. I had no idea there were eight different kinds of depression. I’ve been sad after an event, even felt empty after a loved one’s passing, but I haven’t struggled with depression. It sounds really tough.

  2. Priscilla,

    It is. Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you learned something about depression that you didn’t know before. My hope is to help bring more awareness about it in society.

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