What is Atypical?
Atypical means “not typical” or not belonging to a class, group, or type. It may also be called abnormal and/or unusual.
Being atypical can be applied to various fields and situations. People have experienced being “not typical” at some point in their lives. Like in simple day to day living, some people may have displayed atypical behavior at home, at school, or in the office. A basic example is when somebody who goes to school several minutes early every single day suddenly comes in late. Other people may consider this as an atypical behavior. Some people may also comment that this behavior is “not typical” of this particular student.
In the medical perspective, being atypical may also be applied to certain body structures and processes. Like in the case of the disease called cancer, cells involved in this illness are said to be atypical. Some cells demonstrate abnormal structure and growth, while some show abnormal behavior. Though not all cells that appear “atypical” lead to a dreaded disease, it is still enough to alert patients and doctors to seek what causes such cellular abnormality.
In the field of psychology and psychiatry, there is a thing called “atypical depression”. Typical or melancholic type of depression is like an almost absolute case of pessimistic views. In this type, there is no chance of taking positive things to liven up moods. But in the “atypical” type, sufferers may be able to experience improved mood levels in response to a positive experience, which is obviously not normal or typical for persons having depression.
Child development and growth may also deviate from the normal stages that we know. And these deviations are normally associated with neurological and/or psychological problems.
There are various other situations and fields wherein the word “atypical” may be used. But regardless of its application, being atypical means a deviation from the norms, which may favorable or unfavorable.