Have You Experienced Atypical Depression? Part 2

As promised, I’m going to talk more about atypical depression and its symptoms. In my last post I talked about how leaden paralysis and hypersomnia are symptoms of atypical depression. There are a few more symptoms that set atypical depression apart from the rest. What are they?

Mood reactivity is an interesting symptom of atypical depression. With mood reactivity, one will see their mood improve when something positive happens. With major depression, something positive will not improve one’s mood. I have also noticed this symptom with myself. I tend to perk up unexpectedly when something exciting or positive is happening, despite having been really depressed. Keep in mind that although one’s mood improves with something positive, that improvement is only temporary.

Another symptom is hyperphagia. In layman’s terms, eating too much! In particular, but not limited to, carbohydrates. This was a harder one for me to spot for myself. Being a woman, cravings and having an insatiable appetite can also be attributed to hormones. However, you can track your hormones and how they cycle. Then note when you tend to get cravings and when you are constantly hungry. That can give you a rough comparison of when it’s out of the ordinary for you to want to eat excessively.

Last but not least, is having an increased sensitivity to criticism and a fear of rejection. It’s not hard to imagine that this would greatly interfere with your personal relationships with others. In every aspect of your life, you have relationships with other people. When this symptom comes into play it can have a crippling, far-reaching effect.

As always, you cannot diagnose yourself just by reading this post. But, if you have experienced two or more of these symptoms it’s worth having it checked out. Those with bipolar disorder already know that they have depression. But I always feel better when there’s a name for what I’m experiencing. Now I know that I often suffer from atypical depression. If you have read these last two posts and thought, “that’s me!”, maybe you also suffer from it. If that is you, get checked out. Knowledge is power.

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5 responses to “Have You Experienced Atypical Depression? Part 2

  • LunaSunshine

    Ok, I can say that I don’t usually experience that kind of mood reactivity with depressive episodes. That is, unless it’s a dysthymic kind of depressive episode. I can say that I experience a wide variety of levels of severity when it comes to episodes. Sometimes, they worsen, but it’s usually a pretty stable thing.

    The only reactivity I experience with depression happens to be tied very closely with irritability. I can go from crying to enraged pretty quickly in a depressive episode. The same goes for hypomanic episodes. I can be in a euphoric up that can turn ugly fast.

    But as for hyperphagia, and increased sensitivity to criticism, yes, they are present. I gained 10 lbs in 3 months. My medicine was adjusted and it’s coming off without too much of a struggle. Go figure.

  • Fenny

    Hi Courtney! I found you because you commented on my blog. I have awarded you with the “iDig Your Blog” award. Cuz I dig your blog 🙂
    Please go to my post of 8/31 for the details, will ya? Thanks!

  • Curious. | Heartache Into Beauty

    […] Have you experienced atypical depression? Part 2 […]

  • Gledwood

    I have schizoaffective bipolar and I noticed a lot of the depression I get has “atypical features”… especially sleeping for far too long 12-17 hours a day or more). Mental health professionals seem blissfully unaware that bipolar depression is as likely (or more likely, I sometimes hear) to feature hypersomnia as insomnia, they expect that becasue I’m depressed I’m going to be insomniac when in actual fact usually I have the opposite problem. They seem to think somehow that because I’m oversleeping the problem is somehow less serious or real or that I’m capable of just cutting down the hours I sleep by getting up early. As if I haven’t tried that a million times. All that happens is the lost sleep catches up with me big time and I’m even more disabled as a result…

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