In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of atypical and non-atypical depression comorbidity on the clinical characteristics and course of social anxiety disorder (SAD). A total of 247 patients with SAD were enrolled: 145 patients with a current depressive episode (unipolar or bipolar) with atypical features, 43 patients with a current depressive episode with non-atypical features and 25 patients without a lifetime history of depressive episodes were compared regarding sociodemographic and clinical features, comorbidity rates, and severity of SAD, depression and functional impairment. Thirty four patients with a past but not current history of major depressive episodes were excluded from the comparisons. 77.1% of current depressive episodes were associated with atypical features. Age at onset of SAD and age at initial major depressive episode were lower in the group with atypical depression than in the group with non-atypical depression. History of suicide attempts and bipolar disorder comorbidity was more common in the atypical depression group as well. Atypical depression group has higher SAD and depression severity and lower functionality than group with non-atypical depression. Our results indicate that the presence of atypical depression is associated with more severe symptoms and more impairment in functioning in patients with SAD. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.