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 1 in 10 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 enjoyed 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 01, 2017

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Look after your health
and wellbeing.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
smiling baby
Causes and remedies
man holding sore neck
16 tips when you have a lot of weight to lose
mother and child
Caring for a baby with cows' milk allergy
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
man holding sore neck
8 signs you're headed for menopause
couple makigh salad
Nutrition for over 50s
bain illustration
Best foods for your brain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
rubber duckie
Hidden allergy hotspots in homes
egg in cup
Surprising things that can harm your liver