Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Depression health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Types of depression


WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Depression is estimated to affect around 2 to 3 people in every 100 people in the UK at some stage in their life. It affects men and women and children of all ages.

The reasons for depression may be many and varied, including events in a person's life, such as bereavement, family problems or unemployment. In other cases, there may be no obvious cause.

Depression isn’t just one mental health condition. Learn more about the different types of depression.

Depression diagnosis

A GP may carry out a physical examination and arrange urine or blood tests to rule out conditions which may have some symptoms in common with depression, such as hypothyroidism ( underactive thyroid).

Depression diagnosis will be based on answers a person gives to the GP about how they feel and the way symptoms are affecting their mental health and physical health in general.

The UK uses depression diagnosis guidelines from the World Health Organisation.

Depression symptoms include no longer taking pleasure from previously enjoyable activities, irritability, tiredness, feeling worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating and memory problems.

Depression types

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) defines mild, moderate and severe depression as:

  • Mild depression: Having a small number of symptoms with a limited effect on daily life.
  • Moderate depression: More symptoms having an impact on daily life.
  • Severe depression: Many symptoms making daily life extremely difficult.

Other types of depression include:

Postnatal depression: Experienced by some women, and some men, after the birth of a child.

Bipolar disorder: Sometimes known as manic depression in which a person swings between periods of being depressed and periods of heightened, or elated, mood.

Seasonal affective disorder: Also known as SAD or winter depression where symptoms usually appear in the winter months but can occur at other times of the year.

Next Article:
Reviewed on March 23, 2015

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Look after your health
and wellbeing.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

agave syrup
These may not be so healthy
exercise illustration
The 7-minute workout
female patient consulting with female GP
How to boost your chances
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
heart rate graphic
What is it, and how is it treated?
smiling woman
Much more than weight loss
crossword puzzle
Tips for the first hard days
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
smiling_handsome_man
Put your best face forward
sick child
Treating your child's cold & fever
couple makigh salad
How it can help with weight loss
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?