Depression is a mental illness that affects people differently, owing to its various types. Today, explore this in detail.

According to WHO, around 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and another 38 million experience anxiety disorders. Studies have shown that India also accounts for 36 % of suicides globally and that it is the leading cause of death among women and teenage girls of 15-19 years. India’s contribution to global suicide-related deaths also rose from 25 % in 1990 to 36% in 2016 among women and from 18% to 24.3% in men. Much like coronavirus, depression is a pandemic that we all should be talking about a lot more.

This mental illness is characterized by low moods, feelings of sadness, reactive moods, extreme sensitivity, and behavioral changes. You would think that depression affects everyone the same way but that’s not the case. This is because this mental disorder is of different types and hence its impact differs from individual to individual. Did you know that there are actually 7 types of depression? Today we explore every type of depression in detail along with explaining the brain activity that causes this condition.

Type 1. Pure anxiety  

Most people who suffer from this depressive disorder, also experience anxiety along with it. In fact, this holds true for 75% of people who experience this form of depression. Anxiety occurs with depression when there’s too much activity in the basal ganglia, which is a group of subcortical nuclei responsible for motor control, learning, behaviors, and emotions. The common symptoms of this type of depression include: 

  • Continued feelings of nervousness
  • Avoid people and places due to the fear of experiencing anxiety attacks
  • Frequent panic attacks
  • Increased heart rate
  • Severe muscle tension
  • Avoiding conflicts
  • Easily started
  • A tendency to freeze in threatening or anxiety-provoking situations
  • Irrational fear of being judged
  • Shy, timid, and easily embarrassed
  • Biting fingernails and chewing skin

Type 2. Pure depression 


This depressive disorder which is also known as major depression or clinical depression occurs when there’s high activity in the deep limbic system, which is the brain’s emotional center. People who experience pure/major depression feel a range of emotions from chronic mild sadness (dysthymia, also known as persistent depression) to major depression where even getting out of bed and going about daily activities seems like a challenge.

The symptoms of depression of this kind include:

  • Feeling of sadness or being stuck in negative thinking patterns for prolonged periods
  • Being irritable, restless, and crying too much
  • Losing interest in enjoyable activities
  • Sleeping too much or too less
  • Feeling worthless and hopeless
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite, weight gain, or weight loss
  • Inability make decisions and concentrate
  • Experiencing physical health symptoms like headaches, muscle pain, and issues with digestion

Type 3. Anxiety and depression 

A person experiences this type of depressive disorder when there are both symptoms of pure anxiety and depression. There’s usually high activity in both basal ganglia and the deep limbic system.

Type 4. Overfocused anxiety and depression 

When there is excessive activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus, (which is an important part of the limbic system that helps regulate emotions and pain) basal ganglia and/or the deep limbic system, there is an occurrence of overfocused anxiety and depression. This type of depressive disorder is usually seen in children and people with this condition have difficulty shifting attention and often enter spirals of dark moods and behaviors. This condition can manifest itself in the form of

  • Phobias
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

The symptoms include: 

  • Worrying too much
  • A tendency to get upset when things don’t go according to plan
  • Intense sensitivity to rejection
  • Being argumentative for no reason
  • Being stuck in repetitive patterns of negative thoughts
  • Having a strong resistance to change
  • Having addictive or compulsive behaviors
  • Not being open to listening to the other person’s opinion
  • Having my way or high way attitude
  • Holds grudges
  • Lacking the ability to be adjusting

Type 5. Temporal lobe anxiety and depression

This condition occurs when there is either too little or too much activity in the temporal lobes, which is involved in emotions, memory, and moods. There’s also overactivity in the deep limbic system of the basal ganglia. The symptoms of depression of this kind include:

  • A tendency to get angry at the drop of a hat
  • Periods of extreme irritability
  • Often perceiving things in a negative way when that’s not the case
  • Getting zoned out frequently
  • Having mild paranoia
  • Frequent bouts of panic and fear in daily life for no specific reason
  • Frequently feeling like you’ve had a deja vu
  • History of having experienced a head injury
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Bouts of forgetfulness
  • A violent family history

Type 6. Cyclic anxiety/depression

This type of depression is associated with high levels of activity in the brain’s deep limbic system/ or basal ganglia. During this process, the emotional centers hijack the brain for a certain period in a cyclical pattern. This is why cyclical disorders such as bipolar disorder (characterized by mood episodes- elevated mood or periods of mania and sad mood), premenstrual tension syndrome, occur as they are characterized by episodes of depression that are unpredictable in nature.

The symptoms include:

  • Feeling overly energetic or sleeping less than usual
  • Overtly excited, depressed, or anxious
  • Having grand ideas and notions
  • Thinking rapidly
  • Talking fast
  • Being irritable and aggressive
  • Being delusional
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Behaving inappropriately in social situations

Type 7. Unfocused anxiety/depression 

This condition occurs when there is low activity in the prefrontal cortex, in addition to increased activity in the basal ganglia and deep limbic system. The PFC is involved in impulse control, judgment, attention, organization, focus, motivation, etc. Therefore when the PFC is not as active as it should be, people have trouble going about these activities.

  • The symptoms include:
  • Persistent boredom
  • Feeling spaced out
  • Difficulty staying focused
  • Feeling tired and fatigued
  • Being distracted
  • Forgetfulness
  • Procrastinating
  • Easily overwhelmed by tasks in everyday life
  • Lack of empathy
  • Finds challenging to express feelings

Brain training to treat depression 

In conventional medicine, these forms of depression are treated with mental health resources like various types of therapies (hormone therapy, behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, light therapy, etc) as well as a combination of medication such as antidepressant drugs (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors that as a mood stabilizer). However, these are proven to have mild to severe side-effects along with withdrawal symptoms. As a result, people wish to opt for a more non-invasive form of treatment with minimal and temporary side effects. Neurofeedback is it!

This clinically-proven, NASA-inspired, US-FDA-approved brain training technology restores balance in the imbalanced brainwaves that are present in the underactive and overactive areas of the brain. Therefore Neurofeedback gets to the root of your severe depression i.e, imbalanced brainwaves, and eliminates it. With this safe and non-invasive technology, people with depression can be rid of their misery and lead a happy life once again.

To learn more about how this technology works, visit here. For a consultation session, call on  +91 253 660 6333.