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Atypical Depression

Atypical Depression

What is atypical depression and what does it entail? In the following article, we will take you through the symptoms and treatment forms of this condition.
Rujuta Borkar
Atypical depression is a subtype of depression and is considered to be more common than the mental illness―depression, that people suffer from. This form of depression is known to manifest in women more than in men. There are certain key characteristics of this subtype of depression which will be explained in the paragraphs that follow. This article will also be looking into the varied treatment forms of this condition.


Atypical depression manifests itself not only with the typical symptoms that depression brings along, but has other reactions in addition to them as well. The most prominent sign of depression includes the feeling of complete and utter loss of hope, and the inability to carry out any normal activities like eating and sleeping, maybe. This feeling continues through the entire period that a person is depressed and there is no relief unless treated at the core.

The atypical form of depression has a different way of working―here a person experiences dual moods. When happy stimuli are presented to him, he becomes happy, but when those stimuli are taken away, he slips into an almost paralytic emotional attack and goes into severe depression. This depression is characterized, not by the inability to not do anything, but maybe overdo certain things. The following are some key characteristics that a person suffering from atypical depression will experience:
  • Heaviness in arms and legs.
  • Excessive sleeping (hypersomnia) which runs to about 10 hours at a stretch.
  • Weight gain due to increase in appetite which runs to more than 10 pounds.
  • Turning into an antisocial person (almost) due to severe rejection that has been suffered at many levels.
  • Oversensitivity to rejection, criticism, and negative comments.
  • Lack of energy and will.
  • Inability to show initiative.
  • Experiencing panic attacks or GAD.
  • Less interest in sex.
  • Aching body and pain in different parts of the body.
  • Loss of concentration.
  • Crying bouts for no reason.
  • Feeling hopeless and unworthy.
  • Constant or periodic thoughts of suicide.
  • Digestive problems.

Since this mode of depression can hamper a person's life and cause a lot of strife in it, treatment of the same becomes important. A person suffering from this condition might never be able to form healthy relationships with anyone due to their behavior and the inability to take criticism. The treatment methods that are administered for the same are:

Medication includes a list of antidepressants like paroxetine, sertraline, and fluoxetine as well as SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). Along with these MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) such as phenelzine are also seen to work.

Psychological Approach
The medication forms are usually used in combination with psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. This method tries to focus on the main causes of this subtype of depression and tries to eradicate them at the root, rather than simply concentrating on the symptoms. This automatically helps deal with the symptoms as well.

Along with these methods, one can even add certain other methods that work on all forms of depression like starting out on ayurvedic medicines or consuming those foods that fight depression.

A patient who suffers from atypical depression will find it difficult to adjust well in life. There will be times when the condition gets so difficult that not only the patient, but also the people interacting with him find it difficult to sustain a normal relationship. It therefore becomes important to understand this condition and undergo the necessary treatment at the earliest.

Disclaimer - This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of a mental health expert.