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Atypical Depression vs Melancholic Depression

The DSM categorizes many different subtypes of depression under Major Depression Disorder. Very rarely will a psychologist or psychiatrist diagnose a patient as "depressed" without clarifying and characterizing the specific type of depression.




The DSM categorizes many different subtypes of depression under Major Depression Disorder. Very rarely will a psychologist or psychiatrist diagnose a patient as "depressed" without clarifying and characterizing the specific type of depression. Let's look at a few different types of depression and at various treatment options which may help sufferers overcome the darkness that accompanies all forms of this mental illness. Two popular types of depression are atypical depression and melancholic depression.


"Someone with melancholic depression, however, can find no happiness, even when faced with joyous events"

The major difference between these two types of depression lies in mood activity. A person suffering from atypical depression generally responds well to positive events around him/her. That is, he/she can experience a significant mood improvement if his/her surroundings are positive.

Someone with melancholic depression, however, can find no happiness, even when faced with joyous events. These people are said to have little or no mood reactivity. Pleasurable stimuli seem to have no effect on a melancholic sufferer's mood whatsoever.

Another difference is in sleep patterns. People with atypical depression tend towards hyper-somnia (they sleep too much), as opposed to melancholic depressives who don't sleep enough due to insomnia.


Other differences divide atypical depression (which is usually chronic) and melancholic depression (acute) which is why treatments for the two types of depression also differ. Atypical depression improves with antidepressant treatment drugs such as MAOIs and SSRIs, while melancholic depression responds better to TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants).

 

References:

- http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/health/the-difference-between-atypical-depression-and-melancholic-depression.html

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