- Common form of chronic depression but with less severity than major depressive disorder.
- Frequently misdiagnosed because the correct criteria to diagnose this condition are often not applied. The DSM-IV-TR, published by the American Psychiatric Association, indicates the diagnostic criteria for dysthymia.
- Associated with significant functional impairment (including unemployment, single marital status, greater healthcare utilisation, greater utilisation of public entitlements).
- Patients may respond to psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, or a combination of both.
- Patients require a longer treatment period, more psychotherapy sessions, and/or higher doses of antidepressant medication compared with patients with acute forms of depression.
- Can often be complicated by major depressive episodes (double depression).
- As with other mood disorders it is frequently comorbid with other psychiatric and medical conditions.
Last updated: Nov 30, 2012