Does the type of depression determine the type of treatment needed?
Treatments for depression work for all types, and typically, the specific type of depression does not change the treatment approach drastically.
It does, however, inform as to certain patterns of response to treatments, as well as to the degree of intervention that may be necessary. For example, an individual with major depression with psychotic features is more apt to require hospitalization than an individual with dysthymic disorder. Some subtypes of depression have evidence of better response to certain treatments. For example, an atypical depression has classically been considered more responsive to a specific medication class, called the MAOIs.
Depression with melancholic features may respond better to tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Seasonal depression responds best to a treatment called light therapy. The presence of bipolar disorder usually means that a mood stabilizer will be a necessary part of the treatment, as the use of an anti-depressant without a mood stabilizer in a bipolar individual puts the person at risk for the development of a manic episode.