Atypical depression shares many features with major depression or dysthymia. It is often compared to melancholic depression. The big difference between the two is that with atypical depression, your mood will lift in response to improved circumstances. Here are the main features of atypical depression:
- Picking up weight
- Eating more
- Sleeping too much
- A heavy feeling in your limbs or arms
- An increased sensitivity to personal rejection, resulting in social or relationship difficulties.
Atypical does not mean it is unique or unusual. It’s ‘atypical’ for two reasons. Firstly, it differs from melancholic depression and secondly, it responds differently to the two types of antidepressants available for melancholic depression.
Women are more prone to get atypical depression than men. It tends to start in your teens and is also more chronic. It is often accompanied with anxiety disorders, an increased risk of suicide, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.