Atypical Depression is a subset of both major and minor depression. Atypical depression is categorized by being able to express positive moods in response to enjoyable activities as well as symptoms such as over-eating and over-sleeping.
The DSM-IV defines Atypical Depression lists the following characterizations of atypical depression:
a) Mood reactivity meaning mood can be lifted with positive events
b) At least two of the following:
- Significant weight gain or increases appetite;
- Hypersomnia or sleeping too much, as opposed to the insomnia present in other forms of depression;
- Leaden paralysis (i.e., heavy, leaden feelings in arms or legs);
- Sensitivity to interpersonal rejection sensitivity that results in significant social or occupational impairment.
c) Criteria are not met for Melancholic Depression or Catatonic Depression during the same episode.
- Nierenberg AA, Alpert JE, Pava J, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M.* Course and treatment of atypical depression * J Clin Psychiatry 1998; 59 Suppl 18:5-9. Retrieved on September 7, 2010 from http://www.biopsychiatry.com/atypical.htm