What you need to know about atypical depression and five warning signs

It’s crucial that we comprehend the possibility of depression even if you don’t fit the criteria for a “normal” depression. We frequently overlook atypical depression symptoms in favour of focusing on the “classic symptoms.”

Why it’s important to know what atypical depression is

It’s easier for our brains to say, “Depression is like X, and my symptoms fit (or don’t fit) this particular norm. Each person is physically, mentally, and emotionally wired differently because of his or her own unique life experiences and even because of their genes.

The classic signs of depression are the most common. But it’s important to think about the “zebra in the room,” which is a term used in medicine to describe depression symptoms that aren’t what you’d expect – such as irritability, headaches, or mood swings.

What is depression?

When we ask those who do not work in the medical field to identify the symptoms of depression, we frequently hear “sadness or crying.” However, this goes far beyond that. Depression can have physical as well as mental consequences.

Below you will find a list of the most well-known symptoms of a “typical” depression:

  • Irritability, impatience, hostility and outbursts of anger, even over small things
  • Unpredictable behaviour.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or sadness
  • Loss of motivation or interest
  • Lack of energy and slowed speech, movements or thoughts
  • Back pain, headache and other physical complaints without a clear cause
  • Impaired thinking, concentration, memory and decision making.
    Persistent guilt and anxiety
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Significant changes in appetite resulting in weight loss or weight gain
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, or suicidal thoughts or attempts

What is Atypical Depression?

Important signs and symptoms of atypical depression are:

  • Depression that temporarily disappears in response to good news or positive events
  • Increased appetite or weight gain
  • Too much sleep, but still feeling sleepy during the day
  • Heavy, loaded feeling in your arms or legs that lasts for an hour or more
  • Sensitivity to rejection or criticism, which affects your relationships, social life or job

What should you do if you are concerned?

When depressed, it can be difficult to recognise that you are depressed, and it can be even more difficult to summon the energy to call a therapist or talk to someone about it. If you believe you have any of these symptoms, therapy, a healthy diet, and exercise are always excellent first steps.

Silva, Mesticia Da. “Alles Wat Je Wil Weten Over Een Atypische Depressie En 5 Signalen Om Op Te Letten.” NSMBL, 7 Dec. 2022, www.nsmbl.nl/alles-wat-je-moet-weten-over-een-atypische-depressie.