1. Variablity of mood with reactivity to positive events : - In classic depression mood is profoundly depressed and there is poor mood reactivity. It is especially seen during positive events. They interpret them positive things in a negative light. But in atypical depression there is some reactivity to positive events, making the diagnosis harder.
2. Overeating: - Unlike classic depression, atypical patients eat more. Eating makes them more comfortable. Classic depression is characterized by loss of appetite.
3. Over sleeping : - This is also in contrast to classic depression, where sleeping is reduced.
4. Extreme fatigue: - Extreme fatigue and heaviness in limbs can be a feature.
5. Anxiety features such as sweating, palpitations, muscle ache and increased breathing can occur
In addition, personalities with atypical depression tend to sensitive for rejection (real and perceived rejection).
Treatment of atypical depression
Atypical depression is commonly treated with SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Tricyclic anti-depressants are not effective in treating atypical depression. (Quitkin et al 1993)
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