Dysthymic disorder

Dysthymic disorder, or dysthymia, is a mood disorder that causes some symptoms of depression. Dysthymia is diagnosed when the depressed mood has lasted for at least 1 year in children and 2 years in adults.

Symptoms of dysthymia include interruption in sleep, loss of interest in most activities, feelings of inadequacy or guilt, social withdrawal, and decreased productivity. Dysthymic disorder symptoms are less severe than symptoms of major depression but can last longer and may progress to major depression.

Dysthymia often occurs in people who have personality, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.

Treatment for dysthymia usually includes counseling and sometimes medications, such as antidepressants.

Last Updated: March 13, 2009

Author: Jeannette Curtis & Paul Lehnert

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Catherine D. Serio, PhD - Behavioral Health & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry & Peter Hauser, MD - Psychiatry

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