Objective. Arguing that additional symptoms should be added to the criteria for atypical depression. Method. Published research articles on atypical depression are reviewed. Results. (1) The original studies upon which the criteria for atypical depression were based cited fatigue, insomnia, pain, and loss of weight as characteristic symptoms. (2) Several studies of DSM depressive criteria found patients with atypical depression to exhibit high levels of insomnia, fatigue, and loss of appetite/weight. (3) Several studies have found atypical depression to be comorbid with headaches, bulimia, and body image issues. (4) Most probands who report atypical depression meet criteria for “somatic depression,” defined as depression associated with several of disordered eating, poor body image, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia. The gender difference in prevalence of atypical depression results from its overlap with somatic depression. Somatic depression is associated with psychosocial measures related to gender, linking it with the descriptions of atypical depression as “reactive” appearing in the studies upon which the original criteria for atypical depression were based. Conclusion. Insomnia, disordered eating, poor body image, and aches/pains should be added as criteria for atypical depression matching criteria for somatic depression defining a reactive depressive disorder possibly distinct from endogenous melancholic depression.
Silverstein, B. & Angst, J. (2015). Evidence for Broadening Criteria for Atypical Depression Which May Define a Reactive Depressive Disorder. Psychiatry Journal, 2015, 575931. doi:10.1155/2015/575931.