Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
Bipolar disorder involves cycles of depression and mania, or elation. It is often a chronic recurring condition, and mood swings are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual. It shows a particualr pattern of inheritance, and is not nearly as common as the other types of depressive disorders.
When in the depressed cycle the person can experience any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. The Manic cycle of the disorder affects thinking, judgement, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment.
Dysthymia is a more common and less severe type of depressive disorder. It involves long-term symptoms that do not disable but do prevent the affected person from being fully functional in all activities or from feeling good. Sometimes, people with the disorder also experience symptoms of major depression. The combination of the two is often referred to as double-depression.
Major depression is characterized by a combination of symptoms that affect the person's ability to eat, sleep, work, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Disabling episodes can occur as little as once, or several times in a lifetime.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This disorder usually occurs during the winter time and is also referred to as the 'Winter Blues'. Researchers of this disorder find that people respond to the amount of light they are exposed to. These changes can cause severe mood swings, the majority being sadness.
This occurs in many people with any type of depression. It causes chronic uneasiness, worry, or fear about things that may occur in the future. Many types of anxiety are: Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Social Phobia.