What makes a depression disorder atypical? When the patient experiences all the symptoms of a specific depression disorder (e.g., bipolar disorder, dysthymia, major depression, etc.) but also exhibits one symptom or multiple symptoms that are not typical of that disorder.
For example, according to a study published in the journal Psychiatry, the following are signs of atypical depression:
Unfortunately, an exacerbating issue for many patients is the use of alcohol and drugs. In an attempt to make themselves feel better, many drink or use other substances, not realizing that drugs and alcohol actually can worsen symptoms or extend the length of a depressive episode. Additionally, dependence upon the drug of choice can become problematic, making it necessary for patients to now find treatment not just for depression but for addiction as well.
There is much debate as to the best way to address the symptoms of atypical depression in patients, and the fact is that the answer is likely different for everyone. Depending upon the other depression symptoms or mood disorder issues, the use of antidepressants may or may not be indicated, and when they are, it is often debated whether cyclical antidepressants, MAOIs, or SSRIs are more or less appropriate.
The fact is that the potential for casual misdiagnosis is high, according to a study published in the journal World Psychiatry, and it is not uncommon for patients to be given medications that could potentially cause them to experience even more problems. This has the potential to worsen any issues of substance abuse and make it far more difficult for patients to heal.
Despite the issues that can be an obstacle to recovery when patients seek treatment at many treatment programs, the fact is that effective treatment for atypical depression is possible even when it co-occurs with substance abuse and addiction.
Effective Dual Diagnosis treatment is the gold standard in recovery when two or more mental health and/or medical disorders exist. Intensive treatment for both disorders at the same time kicked off by an intensive evaluation period for the purposes of accurate diagnosis can not only increase the level of treatment provided but also improve the chances of effective and long-term recovery.
Here’s what you should look for when seeking out a Dual Diagnosis rehab program for your loved one:
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