A mood disorder consisting of the same cognitive and physical problems as in depression, with less severe but longer-lasting symptoms. Some people have a milder change in their mood that is similar to depression. They feel unsettled, unhappy and down, but this does not affect their everyday lives as much as depression. The symptoms change from day to day and week to week. If the symptoms last for at least two years, it is considered to be a chronic depressive disorder called dysthymia. Although the symptoms are not as severe as typical depression, dysthymia can be just as distressing.
Dysthymia may also be associated with the presence of personality disorders (e.g., avoidant, dependent, histrionic, borderline, narcissistic). Dysthymia may also be related to substance use. People with this type of chronic depression may abuse drugs or alcohol in trying to relieve their despondency and other unpleasant symptoms. Dysthymia in children may sometimes be related to anxiety disorders, learning disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, and mental retardation. Physical illnesses that may be associated with dysthymia include acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), hypothyroidism, and multiple sclerosis.
Types of antidepressants most commonly used to treat dysthymia include:
In France, 2,421,411 is the estimated number of people who are managing Dysthymia in a population of 60,424,213.