Being Depressed Doesn't Mean You'll Never Be Happy

Melissa Matthews
Photo credit: Westend61 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Westend61 - Getty Images

From Men's Health

You may think that people with depression never laugh or experience happiness—but that's just a misperception, according to psychiatrist Tracey Marks, M.D.

In a new YouTube video, Dr. Marks explains depression manifests itself in different ways. In fact, people may experience atypical or melancholic depressive features, which are very different. Given its name, atypical features may seem rare but it's actually the most common, explains Dr. Marks. With this form of depression, people can be happy when positive things happen.

"It's a momentary brightening, though," says Dr. Marks. "It's not something that you feel for weeks. "

Atypical depression is associated with sleeping more, a larger appetite, and sensitivity to rejection, says Dr. Marks.

On the other hand, melancholic depression is characterized by a constant low mood, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping.

People with atypical features tend to experience chronic depression that lasts longer. They may also gain weight since they tend to sleep and eat more, explains Dr. Marks.

About 9 percent of men experience depression daily, which is more than 6 million guys. If you feel both depressed and happy, you may want to speak to a mental health professional for a diagnosis. Depression can be managed with psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both. Speak to your primary care physician for mental health referrals if you're not sure how to seek treatment. Or, you can check out The National Institute of Health, which offers a hotline that can refer you to affordable mental health services in your state.

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