Depression is one of mood disorders, along with other disorders such as mania and bipolar disorder. It may take the form of a single transient episode (depressive episode) or a real disorder. The episode or depressive disorders are also characterized by a greater or lesser severity. When symptoms are such as to affect the social adjustment we talk about major depressive episode in order to distinguish it from minor depression episode which do not have serious consequences and often are normal reactions to tragic events.

The major depressive episode is characterized by symptoms that last at least two weeks causing a significant impairment in social working or other important areas.

Among the main symptoms are:

1. Depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day.
2. For most or nearly every day, interest or pleasure is markedly decreased in nearly all day activities
3. Although not dieting, there is a significant loss or gain of weight (such as 5% in one month) or appetite is markedly decreased or increased nearly every day

  1. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
    5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day.
    6. Decrease in energy and feeling fatigued nearly every day.
    7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate feelings of guilt nearly every day.
    8. Decreased ability to think or concentrate or difficulty in making decisions, nearly every day.
    9. Thoughts about death (other than the fear of dying), suicide (with or without a plan) or has made a suicide attempt

In addition to depression, other mood disorders of depressive type are: Among the main ones:

  • Dysthymia (or dysthymic disorder): the presence of chronically depressed mood for at least two years. In this case, depressive symptoms, despite their chronicity, are less severe and do not ever received a major depressive episode.
  • Adjustment disorder with depressed mood: it is a result of one or more stressors and typically manifests within three months after the event with severe psychological distress and social impairment. Usually eliminating the stress factor, the depression disappears within 6 months.
  • Secondary depression: depression due to psychiatric illness or not, or drugs.
  • Reactive depression:depression due to a triggering event such as bereavement, separation, a failure, the symptoms, however, prove too intense and prolonged than the cause. Inside you can place the adjustment disorders and grief reactions.

Masked depression: depression symptoms manifested primarily by cognitive, somatic, or behavioral, in spite of the affective. In reality they are simply amplified affective aspects of depression.