As more people speak out about living with mental illness, conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are finding a healthy place in public conversation. But there are still a ton of mental health misconceptions floating around that just perpetuate the stigma surrounding these all-too-common illnesses. Good news: Learning the facts can help — so read on!More
It's important we make a clear distinction between depression and sadness, which are two very different things: Sadness is a regular part of life that everyone experiences at some point, and it passes over time. Depression, however, can make it continuously difficult for a person to handle his or her everyday responsibilities — and someone who has depression might not even feel "sad" at all, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
According to the NIMH, there are two major types of depression: major depressive disorder (MDD aka clinical depression) and persistent depression disorder (PDD aka chronic depression). But there are many other types of depression beyond and within these. There's melancholic depression, which is a form of MDD wherein one feels persistently and intensely sad and hopeless; psychotic depression, a combination of major depression plus some form of psychosis, such as delusions or hallucinations; and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition that usually occurs during the winter months — and that's just naming a few.