Friday, December 06, 2019

Dysthymic disorder: definition and symptoms

Dysthymic disorder or dysthymia is a type of low-grade depression that lasts for at least two years. Dysthymia is less severe than major depression, but the chronic symptoms often have negative effects on work, relationships, and family and social interactions. Typically, having dysthymia means feeling mildly or moderately depressed more often than not.

Dysthymia frequently remains unrecognized and un-diagnosed for years. Co-morbid major depression, anxiety, personality, somatoform and substance abuse disorders are common. Symptoms center on sad mood, pessimism and hopelessness. Sufferers experience significant functional impairment and are at risk of death by suicide. Those most at risk are female, unmarried, and live in high income countries and have family histories of depression.

Dysthymia is not preventable, and symptoms may occur in childhood and continue throughout adult-hood. Experiencing a major loss during childhood, such as the death of a parent, is associated with an increased risk of later-developing dysthymia.

Approximately one in every 20 people encounters dysthymia in their life time with lifetime prevalence rate of 3–6%. The lifetime prevalence of major depressive disorder is more (5–17%; average: 12%) than that of dysthymia. Among all psychiatric illnesses, depression is the most commonly encountered with an overall prevalence of 9–20%.

In addition to a depressed mood for most ofthe day and most days for at least two years,people who suffer from dysthymia exhibit atleast two of the following symptoms:
•Low energy levels or fatigue;
•Low self-esteem;
•Trouble concentrating or making decisions;
•Feelings of hopelessness;
•Appetite problems (poor appetite or overeating);
•Sleep problems (insomnia or hypersomnia).
Dysthymic disorder: definition and symptoms
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