One of the phrases I often throw about on my blog is the concept of the depression spectrum. For many people I think that’s a difficult thing to visualize as the types of depression aren’t simply a linear scale of increasing severity but a span going from two different extremes.
This was one of the best examples I could find. I suffer from dysthymia (Persistent Depressive Disorder) seen wedged between major depressive disorder and normal mood. My mood essentially hovers in in that blue zone, very rarely do I feel what most people think of as ‘normal’. I have on at least two occasions suffered a major depressive episode, both stemming from very severe stressors in my life. More wide varying forms such as cyclothymia and bipolar I/II disorder can span the emotional gamut and the up/down cycle can be very difficult to predict and deal with. Major depression meanwhile is often what people think of when hearing phrases like ‘crippling depression’.
The one thing I’d want folks to understand is that depression isn’t a strict scale from 1 to 10 and that varying types of depression present with a wide range of mood levels.