What is Depression? Causes, Symptoms, Types

If you’re feeling down, sad, and lose interest in the pleasure activities of daily life, these are common feelings that we’re familiar with. If such feelings persist over time and impact your routine life, then it means you’re going through depression. Today, we’ll discuss what is depression; its types, symptoms, causes, and diagnosis in detail. 

According to a study by WHO (World Health Organization), depression is one of the reasons and causes of disability. It can impact children, teenagers, women, and teenagers. 

What is Depression? 

Depression falls under the category of mood disorder and it deals with consistent feelings of anger, loss, sadness, and having no interest in the daily activities of a person’s life. We all feel and experience mood fluctuation now and then in our lives, but depression is consistent and persists over time. 

According to an estimate by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), approximately 8.1% of US adults over 20 years old have depression. It studied the data from 2013 to 2016.

Life-changing events like losing a job or losing someone very close to you result in the form of could lead towards depression. Many psychologists and professionals deem only grief as depression if it is persistent over time. 

However, depression is a continuous problem and it doesn’t go away. The symptoms of mood fluctuation last only for two weeks. On the other hand, the feelings of dep.ression could last for weeks, months, and years. 

The feelings and experiences of people going through dep.ression are different. It would impact your daily life, lower productivity, and losing a plethora of time in life. It can impact your relationships and leads to chronic health conditions. Some of the conditions that aggravate because of depr.ession are as follows; 

  • Obesity 
  • Diabetes 
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease 
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis 

Types of Depression 

The types and categories of depr.ession depend on the severity of the situation and symptoms. Some may be feeling a minor and a temporary episode, and others are going through a permanent phase. In short, we can say it has two main types and they’re as follows; 

Major Depressive Disorder 

It’s a severe condition of depr.ession when you consistently feel worthlessness, hopelessness, and sadness. For diagnosis of clinical dep.ression, a person must be feeling 5 of the following symptoms for two weeks; 

  • Consistently thinking of suicide and death 
  • Indecisiveness and losing concentration 
  • The feeling of guilt and worthlessness 
  • No energy and fatigue 
  • Moving and thinking slowly 
  • No sleep at all or sleeping a lot 
  • Weight gain or weight loss to a great extent 
  • Losing interest in daily activities 
  • Depressed most of the day 


Specifiers is the sub-category of major depressive disorder, and the American Psychiatric Association came up with its name. It comprises of following symptoms; 

  • Catatonia 
  • Psychotic features
  • Melancholic features 
  • Seasonal pattern 
  • Peripartum onset
  • Mixed features 
  • Anxious distress 
  • Atypical feature 

Persistent Depressive Disorder 

PDD (persistent depressive disorder) is a minor/mild and chronic type of depression. PDD can last a much longer time and that’s why it impacts your life more than the major depressive disorder. For diagnosis of clinical depression, a person must be feeling the following symptoms for two years; 

  • Having low self-esteem 
  • Low productivity 
  • Feeling hopeless 
  • Losing interest in the daily routine life activities

Some of the other types are as follows; 

Bipolar disorder 

Bipolar disorder is a very common type and symptom of depression. Many research studies have shown that people with bipolar disorder are facing depression most of the time. It’s very difficult to differentiate bipolar disorder from the 

Psychotic depression 

Psychotic depression comprises delusion, detachment from reality, and false beliefs. It means sensing non-existent things and hallucinations. 


A common name is baby blues that many women experience after giving birth. It happens due to the readjustment of hormones level after the child’s birth, and it results in the form of mood swings. However, it’s a severe type of depression, and if the feelings persist, then one should consult with the professional. 

Symptoms of Depression 

Some of the main signs and symptoms of depression are as follows; 

  • Persistently thinking about suicide and death, and attempting to commit suicide 
  • Difficult to make a decision and focus your thoughts 
  • Guilty and feeling of worthlessness 
  • No energy and fatigue 
  • Slowly moving and speaking 
  • Pacing up and down, restlessness, and agitation 
  • Either sleeping very little or too much 
  • Sudden Weight gain or weight loss 
  • Appetite change
  • Losing sexual desire 
  • Losing interest in the pleasure activities of the daily life
  • Sad and depress mood 

Symptoms among Women 

According to CDC, depression is more common among women. Some of the main signs among women are as follows; 

  • Having negative thoughts and ruminating 
  • Fatigue 
  • Mood fluctuation 
  • Anxiety 
  • Irritable 

Some of the unique signs among females are; 

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder 
  • Postpartum  

Symptoms among Men 

According to a study by American Psychological Association, approximately 9% of the males in the US are facing anxiety and dep.ression. Men that are going through depression tend to be involved in risky and life-threatening situations, displaying anger, and excessively consuming alcohol. Some of the main signs among males are as follows; 

  • Controlling behavior in relationships and becoming abusive 
  • Difficult to maintain a balance between family and work 
  • Doing work without breaks 
  • Ignoring family events and social gathering 

Symptoms among College Students 

When students enter college life for the first time, then college experiences, culture, and lifestyle make them stressed. Some students get along with it easily, and others face great difficult managing it, and it results in the form of depression. However, some of the main signs among college students are as follows; 

  • Ignoring social gatherings and activities that used to charming 
  • Change in appetite (increasing/decreasing)  
  • Oversleeping 
  • Insomnia 
  • Difficult to focus on the schoolwork 

Symptoms among Teens 

Teens in such an age of great physical changes along with peer pressure could be stress, and it leads to depression. Some of the main signs among teens are as follows; 

  • Can’t sit and feeling of restlessness 
  • Feeling worthless, helpless, and guilty 
  • Facing difficulty focusing on the schoolwork 
  • Avoiding family and friends gathering 

Depression among Children 

According to an estimate by CDC, approximately 3.2% of the children in the US aging from 3-17 are going through depression. Some of the main symptoms among children are as follows; 

  • Vocal outburst
  • Defiant and stubborn behavior 
  • Clinginess 
  • Low energy 
  • Crying and screaming 

Causes of Depression 

Psychologists and health professionals don’t exactly know the precise causes of depression. There is a number of trigger points and causes. Some of the main factors that cause depression are as follows; 

  • Conditions like bipolar disorder 
  • Social and psychological factors 
  • Environmental factors 
  • Changes in the neurotransmitter level of the brain 
  • Genetics 

Diagnosis of Depression 

If a person is feeling that he/she has had signs of depression, then one should consult the professional to determine whether it’s real or not. The professional would know better how to proceed with the treatment. Usually, they analyze you by asking a series of questions, your view, and your life routine. 

Conclusion: What is Depression? Causes, Symptoms, Types 

After an in-depth study of what is depression; its types, symptoms, and causes, we’ve realized that it is a serious mental issue. If you have any of the abovementioned symptoms and they’re persistent, then you should consult any mental health professional.