Posted by PC_Load_Letter on December 26, 2009, at 14:33:44
In reply to Re: Atypical Depression versus Bipolar Depression » PC_Load_Letter, posted by SLS on December 20, 2009, at 14:44:17
> > > Atypical depression and bipolar depression look very similar. Anergia and reverse vegetative symptoms predominate (hypersomnia, hyperphagia, and leaden paralysis). However, mood-reactivity seems to be a feature specific to atypical depression, although it does not always manifest. This is still being debated. It may be that there is a great deal of misunderstanding between posting members of Psycho-Babble when an atypical compares themself to a bipolar and doesn't understand why the bipolar is not reactive to the same things that they are. Perhaps this includes psychotherapy and exercise.
> > >
> > > Has anyone noted other differences between atypical and bipolar depressions?
> > My depression is atypical unipolar, and it is not at all mood-reactive - that is to say it does not improve when positive events occur. It does, however, respond modestly to psychotherapy and exercise.
> In what ways do you feel improved after exercise? How long does the improvement last for?
An overall increased sense of well-being and relaxation is the best way I can describe it; these effects are most likely the result of endorphins kicking in. I don't always experience this effect, however, and if I exert myself too much, exercise can have the opposite effect. In addition, I'm usually quite exhausted even after a workout that does have a beneficial effect on my mood.
> > This similarity between atypical and bipolar depression is, in my view, significant; it supports the hypothesis that both disorders are part of a common spectrum. Thanks for bringing it up.
> Is there any family history of bipolarity?
Not that I know of, although I sometimes wonder if the significant irritability that I not infrequently exhibit could be a symptom of some degree of hypomania. Of course, this can also be a symptom of unipolar depression, so who knows.
> Thanks for responding.
No prob. Glad to be able to add one more data point to your survey.
> - Scott