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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.
Additional recommended knowledge
Diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV-TR)
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.
Medication response differs between chronic atypical depression and acute melancholic depression. While some studies 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. It is important to remember that such co-morbid syndromes as panic disorder may not be fully treated without additional medication.
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.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Atypical_depression". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|