Types of Depression

According to psychologists, depression can be classified depending on their cause, symptoms, and treatment (Fry & Ryan 2011). Due to this, depression can be classified into three types:
  • Melancholic
  • Non-melancholic
  • Psychotic

Main Types of Depression in Young Adults

Figure 2. Young Adult Depression

There are three main types of depression that young adults experience; these are
depressed mood, dysthymia and major depression (Healey 2006).

Depressed Mood

A type of depression that does not really interfere with daily activities; it just occurs when a person feels sad, which is a common emotion to young people. This are mainly caused by small problems that each young adults encounter such as school and peer problems (Healey 2006).


This is a type of depression that may last for years and may affect the daily activities of individuals such as eating and sleeping (Healey 2006). Individuals with dysthymia suffer a constant form of low-grade depression causing the individual to literally forget how to be happy; therefore, young adults with dysthymia tend to create coping devices to escape their depression such as excessive drinking, as well as the development of a ‘false self’ (Prendergast 2006).

Major Depression

This is the most severe form of depression; an individual with major depression experience a severe depressed mood and does not enjoy life anymore. This type of depression is usually caused by major stressful events such as death or a broken relationship (Healey 2006). This interferes with the daily activities of individuals as well as causes the development of some deviant behaviour such as drinking and illegal drugs. This also severely changes the emotional state of individuals, which could sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts, especially on young adults (Prendergast 2006).

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