Medical Dictionary: Dysthymic disorder


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Dysthymic disorder: Another name for Dysthymia.
Dysthymic disorder (condition): Mild form of depression
Dysthymic disorder (condition): Dysthymia is a milder but also more chronic form of depressive disorder than the better known major depression. The dysthymia sufferer usually has a persistent depressed mood with related symptoms such as a loss of interest in life and feelings of fatigue. Dysthymia can be diagnosed if depressive symptoms last more than 2 years and is accompanied by at least 2 other symptoms of depression.

Dysthymic disorder: This less severe yet typically more chronic form of depression is diagnosed when depressed mood persists for at least one year in children or adolescents and is accompanied by at least two other symptoms of major depression. Dysthymia is associated with an increased risk for developing major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse. Treatment of dysthmia may prevent the deterioration to more severe illness. If dysthymia is suspected in a young patient, referral to a mental health specialist is indicated for a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and appropriate treatment. 1

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Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Depression in Children and Adolescents A Fact Sheet for Physicians: NIMH

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