Atypical depression is a type of depression that overwhelms an individual almost to the point of emotional paralysis.
The illness often runs in families. In general, atypical depression tends to cause greater functional impairment than other forms of depression.
Atypical depression is more common in females. Atypical depression tends to occur earlier in life than other forms of depression – usually beginning in teenage years. Similarly, patients with atypical depression are more likely to suffer from other mental illnesses such as social phobia, avoidant personality disorder, or body dysmorphic disorder. Sufferers of depression with atypical features will respond to negative or positive external events.
They’ll feel deeply depressed or somewhat hopeful depending on the latest situation they are faced with. This type of depression usually follows an interpersonal rejection by a lover, boss, or close friend. With proper treatment, most people with serious depression improve, often within weeks, and can return to normal daily activities.
People with atypical depression feel paralyzed or too tired to get out of bed. Chocolate is particularly important as a comfort food. The exact cause of depression isn’t clear. But genetics and environmental factors play a role.
Atypical depression is not new. Indeed, it is one of the most common kinds of depression. The name atypical depression comes from the fact many of its symptoms are opposite to those of some severe depressions. For example people with atypical depression tend to overeat and oversleep. People with atypical depression are externally validated. They feel good when people give them positive compliments and they feel bad when someone criticizes them. It has been hypothesized that atypical depression may be related to thyroid dysregulation. People of all ages and races suffer from depression. Medications are available that are generally safe and effective, even for the most severe depression.
Causes of Atypical depression
The common causes and risk factor’s of Atypical depression:
- Long- term use of certain medications, such as some drugs used to control high blood pressure, sleeping pills, occasionally, birth control pills.
- A family history of depression.
- Biological causes, such as hormones and different levels of neurotransmitters.
- Pregnancy or stressful life events, such as the loss of a loved one or a job.
- Chronic illness, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer or alzheimer’s disease.
Symptoms of Atypical depression
Some sign and symptom related to Atypical depression are as follows:
- Loss of interest in normal daily activities.
- Depressed mood.
- Fatigue or slowing of body movements.
- Less interest in sex.
- Increased appetite, often with cravings for sweets, chocolates or carbohydrates.
- Aches and pains.
- Appetite and weight changes.
Treatment of Atypical depression
- The development of newer antidepressant medications and mood-stabilizing drugs has improved the treatment of depression. Medications can relieve symptoms of depression.
- Psychotherapy can also be useful in some cases.
- Electroconvulsive therapy remains one of the most effective yet most stigmatized treatments for depression. Eighty to ninety percent of people with severe depression improve dramatically with electroconvulsive therapy.
- Exercise regularly.