University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Blue To You
KY Women's Health Registry

Types and Symptoms

Types of depression:

There are several different types of depressive illnesses.

Major depressive disorder is characterized by symptoms that prevent a person from functioning normally and interfere with daily life activities, including work and home life.

Dysthymic disorder affects an individual for more than two years. The symptoms may be less severe than in major depressive disorder, but it is still likely that symptoms could prevent a person from functioning normally.

Psychotic depression is a depressive illness that is paired with some form of psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions.

Another form of depression, seasonal affective disorder, occurs during the winter months when there is less sunlight. Generally the depression ends when spring and summer arrive, and those affected can be treated with light therapy, medication, psychotherapy or a combination.


Many people equate depression as a passing bad mood, or something the person will just “snap out of.” Unfortunately, a depressive illness is much more than that. The symptoms, which can greatly affect a person’s daily activities, can vary in severity, frequency and even length of time depending on the individual.

The following are general symptoms to be aware of in yourself or others:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Anger and frustration
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Please visit the links above for more age- and gender-specific symptoms.

Blue to You

Blue to You was developed through the Health Education through Extension Leadership program made possible by Senator Mitch McConnell with funds earmarked for the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY and budgeted through the CSREES/USDA Federal Administration.