Dysthymia

Common Name(s)

Dysthymia, Persistent depressive disorder, Chronic depression

Dysthymia is a less severe, but long term form of depression. Although the depressed state of dysthymia is not as severe as with major depression, it can be just as disabling. Symptoms of dysthymia include low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness and despair, inability to find pleasure or interest in activities and life, social withdrawal, always feeling tired, feelings of guilt or brooding about the past. Dysthymia is less likely to cause changes in sleep patterns and excessive weight gain or loss than those suffering from major depression. Dysthymia is diagnosed when depressive symptoms last for more than two years in adults (or one year in children) and a person has not been symptom-free for more than two months at a time. Individuals with dysthymia may manage to function well enough in their daily life that they are not aware they have an illness. They may believe their symptoms are just really a part of who they are. They may not know that if they seek treatment they can be helped.

About 3-6% of the population is affected by dysthymia. People with dysthymia often have their first symptoms earlier in life than those with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. Dysthymia sometimes runs in families but is believed to be caused by a combination of genetics and stresses in the person’s life and environment. It is important to realize that, like depression, dysthymia is a chemical imbalance in the brain and is treatable. Treatment may include support groups, medication, talk therapy, or other strategies. Talk to your doctor to decide on the best treatment options if you or a family member has dysthymia. Support groups are also a good source of up to date information and can help connect you with others affected by depression. See also depression.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Dysthymia" for support, advocacy or research.

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Dysthymia" returned 22 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Clinical features of patients with dysthymia in a large cohort of Han Chinese women with recurrent major depression.
 

Author(s): Wenqing Wu, Zhoubing Wang, Yan Wei, Guanghua Zhang, Shenxun Shi, Jingfang Gao, Youhui Li, Ming Tao, Kerang Zhang, Xumei Wang, Chengge Gao, Lijun Yang, Kan Li, Jianguo Shi, Gang Wang, Lanfen Liu, Jinbei Zhang, Bo Du, Guoqing Jiang, Jianhua Shen, Ying Liu, Wei Liang, Jing Sun, Jian Hu, Tiebang Liu, Xueyi Wang, Guodong Miao, Huaqing Meng, Yi Li, Chunmei Hu, Yi Li, Guoping Huang, Gongying Li, Baowei Ha, Hong Deng, Qiyi Mei, Hui Zhong, Shugui Gao, Hong Sang, Yutang Zhang, Xiang Fang, Fengyu Yu, Donglin Yang, Tieqiao Liu, Yunchun Chen, Xiaohong Hong, Wenyuan Wu, Guibing Chen, Min Cai, Yan Song, Jiyang Pan, Jicheng Dong, Runde Pan, Wei Zhang, Zhenming Shen, Zhengrong Liu, Danhua Gu, Xiaoping Wang, Xiaojuan Liu, Qiwen Zhang, Yihan Li, Yiping Chen, Kenneth S Kendler, Jonathan Flint, Zhen Zhang

Journal:

 

Dysthymia is a form of chronic mild depression that has a complex relationship with major depressive disorder (MDD). Here we investigate the role of environmental risk factors, including stressful life events and parenting style, in patients with both MDD and dysthymia. We ask whether ...

Last Updated: 3 Jan 2014

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CRY2 genetic variants associate with dysthymia.
 

Author(s): Leena Kovanen, Mari Kaunisto, Kati Donner, Sirkku T Saarikoski, Timo Partonen

Journal:

 

People with mood disorders often have disruptions in their circadian rhythms. Recent molecular genetics has linked circadian clock genes to mood disorders. Our objective was to study two core circadian clock genes, CRY1 and CRY2 as well as TTC1 that interacts with CRY2, in relation ...

Last Updated: 16 Aug 2013

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Antidepressants normalize the default mode network in patients with dysthymia.
 

Author(s): Jonathan Posner, David J Hellerstein, Inbal Gat, Anna Mechling, Kristin Klahr, Zhishun Wang, Patrick J McGrath, Jonathan W Stewart, Bradley S Peterson

Journal: JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;70(4):373-82.

 

The default mode network (DMN) is a collection of brain regions that reliably deactivate during goal-directed behaviors and is more active during a baseline, or so-called resting, condition. Coherence of neural activity, or functional connectivity, within the brain's DMN is increased ...

Last Updated: 4 Apr 2013

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Dysthymia" returned 4 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Drug treatments for patients with dysthymia.
 

Author(s): Clarissa Kripke

Journal: Am Fam Physician. 2004 Oct;70(7):1269-70.

 

Last Updated: 28 Oct 2004

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The substituted benzamides and their clinical potential on dysthymia and on the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
 

Author(s): L Pani, G L Gessa

Journal: Mol. Psychiatry. 2002 ;7(3):247-53.

 

In this paper the historical and scientific background that led to the use of substituted benzamides in two apparently unrelated clinical conditions namely dysthymic disorder and schizophrenia will be reviewed, in order to understand if a common mechanism of action may support this ...

Last Updated: 28 Mar 2002

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Proposed endophenotypes of dysthymia: evolutionary, clinical and pharmacogenomic considerations.
 

Author(s): A B Niculescu, H S Akiskal

Journal: Mol. Psychiatry. 2001 Jul;6(4):363-6.

 

Dysthymia is highly prevalent--though underdiagnosed--occurring in at least 3% of the population. We conceptualize it as the clinical extension of adaptive traits that have developed during evolution to cope with stress and failure. A classification of dysthymias into anxious and ...

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2001

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Last Updated: 3 Oct 2006

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Desvenlafaxine vs. Placebo Treatment of Chronic Depression
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Dysthymic Disorder; Dysthymia; Chronic Depressive Disorder

 

Last Updated: 16 Apr 2014

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Cognitive Therapy for Unipolar Depression: Efficacy of a Dilemma-Focused Intervention
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Major Depressive Disorder; Dysthymic Disorder

 

Last Updated: 7 Feb 2014

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