sad, depressed, depression

Is My Depression Atypical?

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues diagnosed and its presentation can vary from person to person. One of the most common types of depression is major depressive disorder. However, depression can take other forms. Atypical depression comprises 15-40% of depression cases and is characterized by improvement in mood triggered by good news, weight gain or appetite increases, heavy feelings in limbs, oversleeping during day or night, and heightened sensitivity to criticism or rejection (Case, Sawhney, & Stewart, 2019; Juruena, Bocharova, Agustini, & Young, 2018). Certain biological changes in the nervous system, inflammation, leptin, and hippocampus structure have been attributed to differences between major depression and atypical depression (Lojko, & Rybakowski, 2017). Temperaments and personalities sensitive to rejection and criticism have also been suggested more at risk for atypical depression development (Lojko & Rybakowski, 2017).

Fortunately, there are treatments available to treat atypical depression. Cognitive behavior therapy is an evidence-based treatment which has been highly effective in treating mood disorders including atypical depression (Lojko & Rybakowski, 2017). Antidepressant medications have also been found to be effective (Lojko & Rybakowski, 2017). Try making some personal lifestyle changes like exercising and eating healthier as well.

If you’d like to learn more about atypical depression and treatment, give Mountainview Counseling a call at 678-989-7133!


Case, S. M., Sawhney, M., & Stewart, J. C. (2019). Atypical depression and double depression predict new-onset cardiovascular disease in U.S. adults. Depression and Anxiety, 35, 10-17. doi:10.1002/da.22666

Juruena, M. F., Bocharova, M., Agustini, B., & Young, A. H. (2018). Atypical depression and non-atypical depression: Is HPA axis function a biomarker? A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 233, 45-67. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.09.052

Lojko, D., & Rybakowski, J. K. (2017). Atypical depression: Current perspectives. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 13, 2447-2456. doi:10.2147/NDT.S147317