is a mental illness marked by feelings of profound sadness and lack of interest in activities. It is a persistent low mood that interferes with the ability to function and appreciate things in life.
Atypical depression is depression with periods of mood brightening in response to positive events. Atypical depression will also have some symptoms that are not often found with depression.
There is no blood test or diagnostic test for atypical depression. You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. The doctor may also ask about depression symptoms and behaviors as well as any family history of mental health issues.
Specific mental health questionnaires may be done. This will help the doctor get detailed information about your speech, thoughts, memory, and mood. A physical exam and other tests can help rule out other causes.
Combination treatment of medication and
is often the most effective.
Antidepressant medications may be most effective in people with atypical depression. These medications can take 2-6 weeks to reach their maximum effectiveness. There are many different types of medications to treat atypical depression. You will work with your doctor to find the medication that benefits you the most and has the fewest side effects.
Psychotherapy for atypical depression consists of various types of counseling. These include
cognitive behavior therapy
(CBT), interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, or a combination of these. Therapy is designed to help you cope with difficulties in relationships, change negative thinking and behavior patterns, and resolve difficult feelings.