Dysthymic Disorder is described as chronic depression, but is less severe than a major depression. The main symptom for dysthymic disorder is an almost daily depressed mood for at least two years, but without the necessary criteria for a major depression. Low energy, sleep, appetite disturbances, and low self-esteem are signs of having this mood disorder.
People who have this will often say they dont recall ever not feeling depressed, but they may be relatively functional in managing their life. The symptoms are severe enough to cause stress and interference with every day situations. It is important to have a complete physical with a health doctor to rule out any physical illnesses that might be causing the depression. If this is so then the correct diagnosis might be a Mood Disorder due to a general Medical Condition, even if all the criteria for dysthymic disorder are met. The question is whether the medical condition is physically causing the depression.
Dysthymic disorder is a long term illness but psychotherapy is effective in reducing the symptoms, and assisting the person in managing their life better. Some use antidepressant medication and psychotherapy, and many respond better when
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