Atypical Depression (Atypical Depressive Disorder) is any type of clinical depression with atypical features. For example a diagnosis: major depression, single episode, moderate, with atypical features" in short is called atypical depression.
Atypical depression despite its name is very common in outpatients. As much as 40% of depressive patients are diagnosed and found to suffer from depression with atypical features, in other words atypical depression.
Symptoms of Atypical Depression
• Mood reactivity (improved mood when something good happens)
• Substantial weight gain
• Change in appetite (eating more)
• Hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
• Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
• Persistent sensitivity to rejection
Individuals that suffer from typical depression as opposed to people that have atypical depression usually have a poor appetite, lose weight, suffer from insomnia and their mood is constant or cyclic depending on which type of depression they suffer from.
The point is that their mood does not improve even when something good happens to them.
Living with atypical depression can be very difficult and confusing to the person suffering from it, as well as to people around that individual.
For example, if an atypically depressed person is out with friends, he or she can have a lot of fun, and appear normal and healthy. At that time, depression retreats deep inside and waits for the opportunity to resurface. Once an individual is home and alone in his/her room, depression starts to the surface and takes control.
Atypical Depression Help
There are many ways to help an atypically depressed person.
The most important part of helping the person is to encourage that depressive individual to take part in psychotherapy and stay in treatment as long as it is needed.
Support is essential for a good recovery. Give them as much support as you can.
If you are the one who is depressed, ask for support from your loved one, parents or friends. If you can, be specific in what you need because other people, no matter how close they are to you cannot read your mind. Also, surround yourself with positive people and those you enjoy spending time with as well.
Do not self medicate with alcohol, illegal drugs, drugs of any kind or supplements. Leave medication treatment to the professionals. Alcohol and depression should never be mixed because alcohol consumption makes you more depressed and vulnerable to other disorders such as anxiety.
If you have alcohol or drug problems, they need to be properly addressed in order for treatment of depression to be successful.
Atypical Depression Treatment
Psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal therapy are very successful in treating atypical depression as well as other types of depression. In some cases, psychotherapy alone is enough for a patient to be healed, but in some other cases, antidepressants are needed as well.
Antidepressants should always be taken as prescribed by your doctor and for as long as your therapist tells you. Antidepressants are not a sole solution to atypical depression but a part of its treatment. This is why when taking antidepressants you should always be in psychotherapy as well.
Supplements are used often and can be helpful.
One thing however, you should you should keep in mind, is that natural supplements, if taken the wrong way, can hurt you and make you even more depressed.
Just because they are “natural” supplements does not mean that they are harmless.
Physical exercise can be very helpful in treating atypical depression as well as many other types of depression. Just as alcohol and depression should never be mixed, depression and exercise should almost always be mixed.
Getting the right treatment is very close to being cured. This is why you need to be involved as much as you can in choosing the right treatment for youself. Atypical depression can be tricky, you may look for more treatments than you need. However, one thing is for sure, you are smarter than atypical depression and it has no chance against you once you face it. So what are you waiting for?