Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is characterized by a state of intense sadness that persists for at least two weeks. The persistent sad mood is usually accompanied by loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, as well as diminished appetite, poor sleep, decreased energy, feelings of hopelessness, thoughts of death or suicide, and restlessness and irritability. Symptoms interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, enjoy life and function normally.
Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by mood cycles that change between intense highs (mania) and severe lows (depression). During the manic phase, the individual may experience an abnormally elated or irritable mood, grandiose delusions, inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, poor judgment, increased sexual activity, increased energy and racing thoughts. Manic phases are usually made up of activities that cause serious consequences. During the depressive phase, the individual experiences the same symptoms he/she would if suffering from Major Depression.
Dysthymic Disorder is less severe, but more chronic form of depression which lasts a minimum of two years. It involves the same symptoms as depression but to a less severe degree and usually does not interfere with daily living.