Depression, like every other medical condition, needs proper diagnosis in order to be properly treated. Sadly, too many doctors simply prescribe medications for depression without seeking confirmation of the depression’s underlying cause.

Like most prescription drugs, antidepressants are generally prescribed by doctors for the relief of pain and stress. These medicines help your body to cope with both the physical and psychological effects of being depressed. Unfortunately, they don’t deal with the root causes of depression.

Drugs for depression are actually only able to “cure” a person of depression by removing the emotional or psychological issues that are causing the physical body to be depressed. Even if you are suffering from depression, you can still be anxious and stressed out. This is not the same as being depressed!

Major depression is the most common form of depression. It can last for weeks or months. Depression without psychotic symptoms (delusions) is called “simple depression.” It is generally the easiest type of depression to treat since the symptoms are easier to recognize.

The three types of depression are “primary,” “secondary,” and “clinical depression.” The primary type of depression is the most common because it affects mostly women, and it is much easier to detect.

There are two types of primary depression: dysthymia mixed with mania. Both types can cause severe and persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in usual activities.

Dysthymia is characterized by thoughts of death or suicide and thoughts of hurting yourself or others. Dysthymia is also characterized by poor sleep, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, depression, irritability, restlessness, feeling disconnected from one’s surroundings, and feelings of worthlessness. Some patients also experience suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Secondary depression is marked by a number of symptoms. You may have a change in appetite, inability to concentrate, overeating, loss of concentration, irritability, feelings of guilt, loss of energy, and feeling worthless.

The typical symptom of secondary depression is that of recurrent depression. Some patients will have periods of severe depression followed by periods of remission. The actual cause of this can vary, but if a person has been exposed to trauma such as abuse, divorce, or being mentally ill, it is possible that their depression will persist long after they have recovered from the trauma.

The most difficult type of depression is clinical depression. If untreated, this type of depression can lead to extreme and/or chronic depression. This kind of depression is often very difficult to diagnose because it is difficult to tell which symptoms represent true depression and that symptoms represent the presence of another medical condition.

Symptoms can range from thoughts of death or suicide to feelings of guilt or worthlessness. When depressed, a person might eat excessively, avoid social contact, refuse to exercise, spend excessive time in one area, and have a drastic change in sleeping habits.