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Clinical Depression and Types of Depression

Updated on August 29, 2011


Depression and Clinical Depression are two different things. Depression is just sadness, which everyone suffers at some point. Though, Clinical Depression is a disorder or illness, in which a person remains sad and despaired for an unreasonably longer time and which hampers his usual and daily activities as well as the persons; relatives or friends, involved with him. Doctors often use the term ‘clinical depression’ to describe major depression disorder.

There are many symptoms which differentiate between sadness and clinical depression. To read more about the symptoms of depression, click the below link:


Though, some of the notable criteria are that the sadness prolongs for more than 2 weeks, lack of interest in the activities once enjoyed, changes in sleep patterns, or weight or appetite. These are some of the notable criteria by which you can judge and differentiate between a person with mere sadness or a patient of a disorder – clinical depression.


Clinical Depression is an expansive term and covers many different types of depression in it. Doctors often use the term clinical depression for ‘major depression’. Though, there are many different types too; involved, but not as much severe as the major depression. But since many of their symptoms are common, they find the similar group for identification.

1. Major Depression:

Major depression is basically clinical depression. It is also known as “unipolar disorder”. The symptoms are the same as some of the mentioned above. It is the most severe type of depression. It occurs in episodes, which may be a single episode, twice, or several times in a person’s life time. It is believed to affect the people below 40-45 years of age. It is severe enough to totally disturb and entangle one’s life and daily activities.

2. Dysthymic Disorder:

This is a less severe form of depression than ‘Major Depression’. It involves long term and chronic symptoms, although it is a less severe form but it still manages to prevent the patient to fully enjoy his/her life; it prevents him to ‘feel good’ and act at one’s full potential.

3. Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder is also known generally known as manic depression. It consists of periods of mania or state of depression. When the manic cycle goes up, a person feels over-energetic and talkative; it may increase their sexual activities with little or no sleep. At this stage, a person might feel that he has super-powers and can do anything, which may bring embarrassment and lack of ability to work at full-potential.

4. Seasonal Affective Disorder: (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a depression which may directly relate to the weather and changes in weather and/or seasons or changes of seasons in a year, and/or brightness and duration of daylight. This sort of depression is often treated by artificial light therapy along with some medications. Exposure of bright sunlight or artificial lights can effectively cure depressed moods.


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      JThomp42 5 years ago

      Great read Hunbbel Meer. The only thing I noticed is you said depression is just sadness? There is a huge difference in having the blues and being sad and depression (Any Kind)I'm referring to the second sentence of your Hub.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @lilyfly: Thank you for stopping by :) I am glad that you found the above information useful.

      Regarding the two disorders you mentioned:

      1. SCHIZOPHRENIA is a mental disorder in which a patient suffers from delusions, hallucinations, bad behaviour etc. He see, smell, taste, hear voices and people who do not exist.

      2. PSYCHOSIS: It is the same thing you can say albeit a more severe one. There are many differences, but main can be identified as the intensity of the disorder. A person suffering from 'Psychosis' also suffers from paranoia, hallucination, delusion etc.

      If you want than I will write a whole hub out of it :)

      Anyways, a fictional short-story about a Schizophrenia's person is under development :)

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      lilyfly 6 years ago

      Thank you for your info on depression. Can you explain psychosis and schizophrenia for the layman? I'm always trying to describe these things that people don't know about, since there is so little knowledge about it.


    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @ VENZKHVAM: You are pretty much right in your thoughts. When depressed persons are left behind, it further intensifies their problem, and doesn't help in any way. People should believe that they are a part of our world and our lives, and should support them as much as possible.

    • VENZKHVAM profile image

      VENZKHVAM 6 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

      Yeah all the mental conditions basically starts with sadness and depression. Basically the situation like bipolar disorder should not even come to your worst enemies.since i had my own pharmaceutical company dealing with anti psychotic drug i had encountered many suffering families and individuals.

      To my knowledge only if the society, family and friends be compassionate and counsel them by identifying their real cause of depression iam sure many people can be treated back with love and affection. The drugs available can only suppress your HPA axis thus compressing the brain activity and thus making them sleep.

      My request to every one is to show the love and support whenever you found your loved are affecting by that.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Sueswan: Thank you so much. I always appreciate your comments and valuable feedbacks. Thanks for all the votes and comments :)

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Deborah-Diane: Thank you so much, I am glad you found such qualities in my articles :)

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      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Very valuable information on the different types of depression. I voted up and awesome on this hub and your other hubs dealing with depression.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Nice, clear and concise explanation of the different types of depression. Thanks!