Atypical Depression: The Most Complex Disorders to Diagnose

· May 28, 2017
The problem with unusual depression is that the affected person isn’t aware of what is happening to them. They feel tired and more worn down, but aren’t able to pinpoint the symptoms. Learn more in this article.

Atypical depression is a subcategory of major depression.

It’s very difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be similar to those of conditions like simple fatigue, stress, or even metabolic disorders.

However, something to remember when we talk about these types of emotional problems is that people aren’t always fully aware of what’s happening to them.

In addition, what’s happening may not be due to simple exhaustion or just going through a bad time.

Your primary care physician is without a doubt the first person who should be aware of these symptoms. Remember: these symptoms may sometimes disguise themselves behind excessive weight gain or drowsiness.

In today’s article, we want to talk more about this problem and highlight the characteristics that you should be aware of.

Atypical depression, when the body hurts because the soul is suffering

Most health professionals have a basic protocol for identifying depression: recurring negative thoughts, feelings of helplessness, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts.

From there, they can make a more accurate diagnosis to establish the type of depression. Then, they can determine the pharmacological and therapeutic treatment that should be followed.

However, atypical depression is not as clear-cut until a person exhibits suicidal thoughts. Naturally, this is an alarm that causes both the patient and the family to ask for help.

Before this, however, the patient’s quality of life has already been reduced in measurable ways.

Let’s take a look at some of the basic characteristics.

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Physical symptoms

People with atypical depression often gain weight without knowing why.

It’s not enough to just be more hungry or anxious than usual.The patient’s metabolism actually changes. Naturally, that makes it easier to accumulate fat.

Another common symptom is fatigue and physical pain, especially in the arms and legs. They can feel very heavy, so much so that at certain times of the day it can be difficult to move.

This exhaustion makes you feel little or no desire to be part of everyday tasks. Eventually, you may exclude yourself from your normal social activities.


People with atypical depression can sleep for extreme periods of time.

They may sleep for up to 10 hours in a row. This leaves them in a continuous state of fatigue, weakness, and a view of reality as if they were in a dream they’re not able to control.


This mood disorder makes you cranky, irritable, and unable to receive positive emotions.

You may view good news, relaxing times, laughter, and festivities from a distance. They may feel annoying or even incomprehensible.

As if that weren’t enough, they commonly begin to have catastrophic thoughts.

They may believe that anything they initiate will always end badly so it’s not worth acting or reacting because they don’t have control over anything.

Read also: 4 tips to overcome sadness

Times of great anxiety

Elevated anxiety is also linked to this type of depression.

Oddly enough, a person with atypical depression is very aware of how defenseless they are, and they feel badly about it. This causes them to develop a rejection of self that leads to even more anxiety.

It’s common to go through periods of calm and fatigue, as well as months of stress, nervousness, and anxiety.

Naturally, it can have a serious impact on their work and social lives.

What triggers atypical depression?

Atypical depression affects men as well as women.

As is always the case with this type of illness, there are those who ask for help and those who are better able to manage it or experience emotional relief.

On the other hand, there is no single or exclusive cause that defines atypical depression. It’s a multifaceted reality.

Let’s examine the possible triggers in detail.

Possible Causes

It often has a genetic cause.

If your parents suffered from this disease, you are more likely to suffer as well if you face something complex. This may be a loss, a breakup, a traumatic event, etc.

Experts explain that it usually develops as a combination of two factors: an accident or trauma in life, and the genetic predisposition for depression.

Other times, it can be the result of too much of too many things. Family problems, unhappiness with your life, daily stress, and the difficulty in learning to manage your own emotions can trigger this state of mind.


There is a multidimensional approach to treating this disease. This includes drugs, psychological therapy, social support, and lifestyle changes.

Atypical depression usually appears and disappears over the course of two years.

However, it’s a sub-category of major depression. This means the afflicted person is facing a challenge that requires close family and friends, vigilance, patience, and sympathy.