Managing Dysthymic Disorder
Dysthymia is a chronic form of depression that affects approximately 3% of the population. Like major depression, it is two to three times more common among women compared to men. DSM-IV diagnostic criteria include having a depressed mood on most days for at least two years and at least two of the other signs or symptoms associated with major depression.
Primary care providers may dismiss dysthymia as a "minor" depression, but it can have major consequences, including significant disruption of patientsí social and occupational functioning. Treatment is similar to that of major depression. Options include use of SSRIs and other antidepressant medication as well as cognitive behavioral or interpersonal therapy. Treatment may need to be prolonged, since dysthymia is a condition that tends to recur once therapy is discontinued.
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