Atypical depression

Jump to navigation Jump to search

WikiDoc Resources for Atypical depression


Most recent articles on Atypical depression

Most cited articles on Atypical depression

Review articles on Atypical depression

Articles on Atypical depression in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Atypical depression

Images of Atypical depression

Photos of Atypical depression

Podcasts & MP3s on Atypical depression

Videos on Atypical depression

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Atypical depression

Bandolier on Atypical depression

TRIP on Atypical depression

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Atypical depression at Clinical

Trial results on Atypical depression

Clinical Trials on Atypical depression at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Atypical depression

NICE Guidance on Atypical depression


FDA on Atypical depression

CDC on Atypical depression


Books on Atypical depression


Atypical depression in the news

Be alerted to news on Atypical depression

News trends on Atypical depression


Blogs on Atypical depression


Definitions of Atypical depression

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Atypical depression

Discussion groups on Atypical depression

Patient Handouts on Atypical depression

Directions to Hospitals Treating Atypical depression

Risk calculators and risk factors for Atypical depression

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Atypical depression

Causes & Risk Factors for Atypical depression

Diagnostic studies for Atypical depression

Treatment of Atypical depression

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Atypical depression


Atypical depression en Espanol

Atypical depression en Francais


Atypical depression in the Marketplace

Patents on Atypical depression

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Atypical depression

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Atypical Depression (AD) is a subtype of Dysthymia and Major Depression characterized by mood reactivity — being able to experience improved mood in response to positive events. In contrast, sufferers of "melancholic" depression generally cannot experience positive moods, even when good things happen. Additionally, atypical depression is characterized by reversed vegetative symptoms, namely over-eating and over-sleeping.

Despite its name, "atypical" depression is actually the most common subtype of depression[2][3] — up to 40% of the depressed population may be classified as having atypical depression.

Diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV-TR)

The DSM-IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines Atypical Depression as a subtype of depression or dysthymia, characterized by Atypical Features:

A. Mood reactivity (i.e., mood brightens in response to actual or potential positive events)
B. At least two of the following:
  1. Significant weight gain or increase in appetite ("comfort eating")[1]
  2. Hypersomnia (sleeping too much, as opposed to the insomnia present in melancholic depression)
  3. Leaden paralysis (i.e., heavy, leaden feelings in arms or legs)
  4. long-standing pattern of interpersonal rejection sensitivity (not limited to episodes of mood disturbance) that results in significant social or occupational impairment
C. Criteria are not met for Melancholic Depression or Catatonic Depression during the same episode.

By the ICD-10 classification, it will fall in the category of F32 or F39.


In general, atypical depression tends to cause greater functional impairment than other forms of depression. Atypical depression is a chronic syndrome that tends to begin 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 psychiatric syndromes such as panic disorder, social phobia, avoidant personality disorder, or body dysmorphic disorder. Atypical depression is more common in females — nearly 70% of the atypical population are women[citation needed].

Medication response differs between chronic atypical depression and acute melancholic depression. While some studies[citation needed] suggest that an older class of drugs, MAOIs, may be more effective at treating atypical depression, the modern SSRIs are usually quite effective, while the tricyclic antidepressants are not. In addition, SSRI response can often be enhanced with "booster" medications. And, medication treatment works best when combined with appropriate psychotherapy.[4] It is important to remember that such co-morbid syndromes as panic disorder may not be fully treated without additional medication.

It has been noted that patients with atypical depression often suffer from intense cravings for carbohydrates. A mineral supplement, chromium picolinate, was found to assuage these cravings in one study, though the conclusion reached has not been replicated.

Some hypothesize that atypical depression may be related to thyroid dysregulation. Some studies have found subtle thyroid abnormalities in people with atypical depression. Another study suggests that patients may benefit from triiodothyronine, a medication used to treat hypothyroidism[citation needed].

See also


  1. Atypical Depression and Triiodothyronine
  2. Atypical Depression and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal function
  3. Chromium treatment for cravings in atypical depression
  4. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, exploratory trial of chromium picolinate in atypical depression: effect on carbohydrate craving.

fi:Epätyypillinen masennus