Different Types of Depressive Disorders and Their Treatment Approaches


These days, society is more open to conversations on mental well-being. Many individuals with mental health issues are encouraged to seek professional health and get the medical attention they need.  

Depressive disorders are among the most common mental health issues many face. Many think that there’s only one kind of depression, but there are different types of this mental health issue, and there are also different treatment approaches for each. 

To understand the types of depressive disorders and the current treatment available, here’s a simplified guide we made for non-medical individuals. 

1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) 

Major Depressive Disorder is a condition where patients would feel persistently sad and lose interest in things they used to enjoy. MDD may only occur once in a person’s life, but some people experience multiple episodes of depression.  

The most common symptoms of MDD are angry outbursts, sadness, irritability, frustration, emptiness, hopelessness, and tearfulness, among many others. People with MDD may also experience sleep disturbances like insomnia and oversleeping. Some physical symptoms include back pains and headaches. 

Common causes of MDD include an imbalance of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. Your risk of getting MDD is also high if you have a first-degree relative with the same disorder. Abuse, trauma, and difficult times like the death of a loved one could also be factors.  

2. Treatments 

There are various types of treatment for MDD and other depressive disorders. Antidepressant medications, in particular, can help manage its symptoms.  

One commonly prescribed is Lexapro. If your doctor decided that this is the best medication for you, it’s important to consider the Price of Lexapro. While this could be the most cost-effective option for you, you can also talk to your doctor and explore other options.  

Of course, antidepressant medications can be supplemented with other forms of treatments as follows:

2.1 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) 

This is a kind of talk therapy done by psychologists, counsellors, and therapists to manage and treat emotional concerns and mental health conditions like Major Depressive Disorder. With this treatment, a mental health professional will help you understand your thoughts and how it affects your actions.  

2.2 Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) 

Using mild electrical current, Electroconvulsive Therapy causes short seizures to manage treatment-resistant mental health conditions. It’s a safe and effective technique that requires anesthesia to minimize the discomfort of the process.

2.3 Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) 

Using magnetic fields to stimulate the brain cells, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation can effectively improve symptoms of major depression. This is particularly an option for those patients who are resistant to other treatment options. 

3. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)  

Persistent Depressive Disorder is a long-term form of depression. You may feel all the symptoms of common depression, like hopelessness, sadness, and emptiness, but for an extended time.  

The causes of PDD could vary from brain chemistry, inherited traits, difficult life events, or a combination of these.  

4. Treatments  

Treatment options for PDD include:

4.1 Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) 

This type of talking therapy is based on Behavioural Cognitive Therapy (CBT). Its aim is to make the patient understand their complicated feelings, learn skills to manage them, and make positive changes in their lives.

4.2 Lifestyle Changes and Self-help Strategies

Of course, with some lifestyle changes like taking medicine regularly, eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs, and exercising, you can manage the symptoms of PDD.  

5. Bipolar Disorder  

Bipolar Disorder is a condition that prompts extreme mood swings, including depression and hypomania or mania. It’s a lifelong condition, but there are treatment options that can manage its symptoms. 

While there’s no exact cause of bipolar disorders, researchers claim a combination of factors like brain chemistry, family links, childhood trauma, and stressful life events, among many others, triggers it.  

6. Treatment 

The treatment options for bipolar disorder include:

6.1 Mood stabilizers 

Mood stabilizers are psychiatric drugs that healthcare professionals prescribe. There are different kinds of mood stabilizers, but lithium is the oldest and most popular treatment for bipolar depression. 

6.2 Antidepressant medications (with caution) 

The medication for bipolar disorder is different from other types of depression. Taking antidepressant medications can worsen a manic episode, so it’s best to try mood stabilizers first and never take antidepressant medications without them.

7. Postpartum Depression (PPD) 

Also called Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression is a mental issue moms encounter after childbirth. Patients with PD would experience crying spells, appetite problems, reduced concentration, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping. 

The most common causes of postpartum depression are limited support, difficult delivery, premature birth, marital relationship conflict, and ambivalence about the pregnancy, among many others.  

8. Treatments 

Different treatment options for postpartum depression are as follows:

8.1 Psychotherapy, including Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) 

Interpersonal Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that addresses current issues rather than developmental issues or childhood problems. IPT can be a standalone treatment or a supplementary treatment to medications. 

8.2 Support Groups and Social Support

Talking to your partner, friends, and family can make a big difference. You can also talk with a community of parents and ask for parenting tips and caregiving advice to save yourself from isolation.  


If you feel like you have the symptoms of the depressive disorders mentioned here, seek professional help for a proper diagnosis. This way, you can get treated with early intervention. Don’t hesitate to visit a healthcare professional because the world is slowly destigmatizing mental health issues, encouraging community understanding and support.  

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