Frequently Asked Questions About Atypical Depression

The worst year for my family was hands-down 2020. When we experienced a lot of pain and turmoil, we did not know how we could get over everything. I even thought, “Is this it for us?”

Please don’t get me wrong – I am not talking about anything related to the COVID-19 pandemic. My parents, sisters, and I were safe from the virus as my folks’ house had a cellar with a year worth of food supplies. Our family business also created face masks, which meant that our sales became ten times higher than usual. Instead, I am talking about the emotional ordeal we went through after discovering that my middle sister chose to become some guy’s mistress, hoping he would leave girlfriend #1 someday.

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How Did We Find Out?

I worked late in the office one night when I received a call from my sister, Anne. She rarely called me unless she could not contact Mom. Hence, when I clicked the Answer button, I greeted her with, “I’m not home yet. I—” 

I had to stop midsentence as all I heard were muffled sobs in the other line.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Sis, Mark is getting married,” Anne said. 

Her cries became louder, but I could not sympathize with her as I was confused.

“Am I supposed to know who Mark is?” I asked again.

“H-He was my suitor four years ago.”

“Oh!” I exclaimed, although I still could not place him in my head. “So, congratulation to him. What’s the big deal?”

“I might be pregnant with his baby. We had been trying for years, and—” 

“Hold on.” I interrupted my sister sharply. “I know it’s still April, but it’s way past April 1st. Stop trying to pull my leg.”

In between sobs, Anne told me how Mark promised to leave his girlfriend/live-in partner if my sister got pregnant. Stupidly enough, my sister allowed that guy to manipulate her as he kept saying that he only wanted a baby with her. Before our call ended, my head was already prepared to explode, but I had to say something when she asked me not to tell our parents yet.

“Heck, I’m not lying for you,” I uttered. “You’re going home today to confess to Mom and Dad. They would be angry and careless with their words, but you’d have no choice but to accept them because you brought this problem to yourself when you agreed to that sick arrangement even if Mark was already shacking up with his girlfriend.”

What Happened To My Sister?

The first thing my parents did was take my sister to an OB-GYN. If Anne was not pregnant, life should move on. If she were, we would take care of her needs without letting that stupid guy know about it. When the doctor confirmed that my sister was not expected, we thought she’d be happy. We were delighted, after all. However, it seemed like she was still hoping to be pregnant to steal Mark before his wedding.

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That made my parents finally angry. They banned my sister from leaving the house without any of us; she was supposed to work in our company as well so that we could all watch her moves. It was micro-managing at its best, but Anne left us with no other choice.

What we failed to account for was the development of atypical depression in my sister.

What are atypical features?

 Atypical features indicate major depressive disorder’s predominant symptoms, namely overeating, extreme hopelessness, and oversleeping. 

What is atypical anxiety?

 Atypical anxiety refers to a type of anxiety that mental health professionals cannot distinguish. It is often due to the presence of unusual symptoms or subsyndromal complaints.

What is the most serious form of depression?

 Clinical depression is the most severe mood disorder. The person can experience its symptoms longer than two weeks.

What are the four types of depression?

  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Dysthymia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder

How do I know if I’m bipolar?

 You can tell that you are bipolar when your moods and thoughts are always at the extremes. For instance, you feel sleepy and lifeless sometimes, but then you feel too pumped and optimistic about resting other times.

What are the four types of bipolar?

  • Cyclothymic: It is a mild type of bipolar disorder in which a person’s mood changes cyclically. Despite that, the line that separates depression from mania is still blurred.
  • Bipolar I: Manic symptoms are prevalent in this type of disorder. Some people end up in the hospital when they have bipolar I as they often act without considering if the activity is dangerous.
  • Bipolar II: Major depressive symptoms are prevalent in bipolar II patients, although mild mania may still be detected. Hence, an individual may experience severe fatigue, sleeplessness, and suicidal thoughts. 
  • Medical-/Substance-induced: This type of disorder comes with a set of symptoms that do not fall under the categories mentioned above. It is often caused by medical conditions or substance abuse.

What triggers bipolar?

 Any of the following can trigger bipolar disorder:

  • Financial issues
  • Work-related problems
  • Personal disputes
  • Stress
  • Sleep changes
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Can bipolar people tell they are bipolar?

 No, not all bipolar people can figure out that they have the disorder until a mental health professional diagnoses.

Does Bipolar get worse as you age?

 Yes, bipolar disorder can get worse as you age. However, that may not happen when you try to treat it as soon as the diagnosis comes.

Is bipolar inherited from mother or father?

 Bipolar disorder can be inherited from either parent.

Can people with bipolar work?

 Yes, people with bipolar disorder can work. In truth, many mental health professionals recommend it since having a job keeps them too busy to feel depressed or act on their manic thoughts.

Can a bipolar person live without medication?

 Yes, a bipolar person can live without medication. However, you need to get other forms of treatment (e.g., therapy) to prevent the disorder from worsening.

Is bipolar considered a disability?

 Yes, bipolar disorder is technically a disability. Still, getting diagnosed with this mental condition does not immediately entail that you can receive disability payments.

Can a bipolar person be successful?

 Yes, a bipolar person can be successful as long as you can deal with the symptoms effectively.

Final Thoughts

It was crazy how someone could give everything to another person without an ounce of guarantee that they would not drop you like a hot potato. I might never understand my sister’s principles in life, but I could hope that she would see her faults soon and figure out how to fix her life.

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