Definition: Any type of depression can make you feel sad and keep you from enjoying life. However, atypical depression — also called depression with atypical features — means that your depressed mood can brighten in response to positive events. Other key symptoms include increased appetite, sleeping too much, feeling that your arms or legs are heavy, and feeling rejected.
Symptoms: Depression that temporarily lifts in response to good news or positive events, Increased appetite that can cause weight gain, Increased desire to sleep, usually more than 10 hours a day, Heavy, leaden feeling in your arms or legs that lasts an hour or more in a day — a feeling that is different from fatigue, Sensitivity to rejection or criticism, which affects your relationships, social life or job.
Statistics: Compared with nonatypical depression, atypical depression was associated with a greater percentage of women and an earlier age of onset. The atypical group also reported higher rates of most depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts and attempts, psychiatric comorbidity (panic disorder, social phobia, and drug dependence), disability and restricted activity days, use of some health care services, paternal depression, and childhood neglect and sexual abuse (P<.05). Compared with people without psychiatric disorders, the atypical group reported higher rates of disability and restricted activity days, use of all mental health care services, parental depression, and childhood abuse (P<.001).