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Atypical features is a term that is used to describe a major depressive episode or dysthymic disorder where someone has the ability to react to positive events

Atypical features in the DSMEdit

The DSM uses atypical features to describe a major depressive episode or dysthymic disorder. With atypical features a persons mood brightens in response to actual or potential positive events.

In addition a person experiences 2 or more of the following:

  • significant weight gain or increase in appetite
  • hypersomnia (sleeping for longer than usual)
  • heavy, leaden feeling in the arms or legs
  • long-standing pattern of sensitivity to rejection by others that results in significant social or occupational impairment

The atypical features description is not used when either of the following features are present:


Mood disorders as diagnosed by the DSM edit
Mood episodes: Major depressive episode Manic episode Mixed episode Hypomanic episode

Depressive disorders: Major depressive disorder Dysthymic disorder Depressive disorder NOS (PMDD)

Bipolar disorders: Bipolar I disorder Bipolar II disorder Cyclothymic disorder Bipolar disorder NOS

Other mood disorders: Mood disorder due to a general medical condition Substance-induced mood disorder Mood disorder NOS

Episode specifiers: Severity Psychotic Remission Chronic Catatonic Melancholic Atypical Postpartum

Course specifiers: Longitudinal Seasonal (SAD) Rapid cycling

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