My Mental Health Diagnoses -- What Types of Clinical Depressions Do I Have?

There are many types of clinical depressive disorders, with different mental health diagnoses.

Each type of clinical depression has its own diagnosis or name. Sometimes it can be confusing when you read about or talk with someone concerning depression.

Recently, a patient in my office told me, "My psychiatrist said I have clinical depression. I know that is more severe than major depression."

This statement reflects the confusion concerning all the different names of depression. Actually major depression is just one type of clinical depression.

Clinical depression is a term for all the depressive disorders. Major depression is a specific type of depressive disorder.

It is important for you to know about the types of clinical depressions and the mental health diagnoses used for each. Otherwise, you may become confused as you gather information about depression.

This article will help you become familiar with the mental health diagnoses used to classify clinical depressions.

Accurately diagnosing the types of depression that you are experiencing is important.

Notice that I said it is important to accurately diagnose the types --plural -- of depression.

You can experience more than one type of clinical depression at the same time.

You may be experiencing...

By reading about each of these mental health diagnoses you can get a good idea of the types of depressions you are experiencing. But to accurately clarify the mental health diagnoses of the types of clinical depressions that you are experiencing, you will need to be evaluated by a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist.

The psychologist or psychiatrist will consider your symptoms, your medical history, your family history, and your social history. Based on this information, he or she will determine what mental health diagnoses fit the types of clinical depressions you are experiencing.

This is an important step in getting depression help. One reason this is so important is that different types of clinical depression require different treatments. You need to know what types of depessions you are experiencing so that you can pursue the most effective treatment to help your depressions.

Donald F. Klein, MD, wrote in his book, Understanding Depression: A Complete Guide to Its Diagnosis and Treatment , "Correct medical diagnosis should lead to a treatment that in most instances is effective, moderately fast, and inexpensive." (p. 3)


Labels Verses Diagnoses

A word of caution is in order here, however. Don't label yourself. And don't accept a label that someone else places on you.

You are more than whatever disorders you have. You may have clinical depressions -- But you are not clinical depressions.

You can't accurately say, "I am clinical depression."

You can accurately say, "I have clinical depression."

Even though you want to avoid labeling yourself, it is important to seek accurate mental health diagnoses of any clinical depressions that you are experiencing.

See the difference...Don't label yourself. Do accept mental health diagnoses of the conditions.

In other words, label the condition, not yourself. If you label yourself as clinical depression, you will increase guilt and shame. If you label the condition, your self-esteem can remain intact and you can then address the disorder by trying to help your depression.

Paul Wider wrote in his book, Overcoming Depression and Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder): A Whole-Person Approach , "Beware of labels. Don't accept a label! Labels are hard to get rid of. Do accept a diagnosis from a competent person (doctor or therapist) if they say that healing is needed." (p. 18)


Take Action

Regardless of your mental health diagnoses and the types of clinical depressions that you are experiencing, you will need to take action to help your depression. You can first take action by calling and scheduling an appointment with a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist.

You can also help your depression by developing coping skills. Coping skills are the tools that you need to change your life from one that is less satisfying to one that is more satisfying. Coping skills are also the tools that you need to overcome problems that get in your way as you work on changing your life -- problems that block your progress toward a better life.

The "How To Transform Your Life" E-Workshop can help you acquire and develop the skills needed to change your life.

As you receive treatment for your mental health diagnoses -- including clinical depressions -- The "How To Transform Your Life" E-Workshop may help you make faster, more complete, and more lasting progress.

To learn more about the E-Workshop, click here.

In summary, there are many different mental health diagnoses for the different types of clinical depressions.

You may be experiencing one or more of these types of depressions.

To accurately diagnose your depressions you need to be evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Once the types of clinical depressions that you are experiencing have been identified, effective treatment can begin. The "How to Transform Your Life" E-Workshop can help you develop the coping skill needed to help your depression.

There are several older terms used for types of depression. Although these terms are not used currently you may come across them as you read older books and articles about depression.