Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
Mood Disorders are among the most common Psychological Disorders, and the risk of developing them is increasing worldwide, particularly in younger people. Mood disorders involve disabling disturbances in emotion-from the sadness of depression to the unrealistic elation and irritability of mania. Mood disorders in children are fundamentally similar to mood disorders in adults.
About Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia):
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) is defined as depressed mood that continues at least 2 years, during which the patient cannot be symptom free for more than 2 months at a time even though they may not experience all of the symptoms of a Major Depressive episode, Dysthymia considered more severe since patients with persistent depression present with higher rates of comorbidity with other mental disorders, are less responsive to treatment, and show a slower rate of improvement over time. In children and adolescents, mood can be irritable and duration must be at least 1 year. The Symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
1. Poor appetite or overeating.
2. Insomnia on hypersomnia.
3. Low Energy or fatigue.
4. Low Self-Esteem.
5. Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions.
6. Feelings of Hopelessness.
Recent evidence identifies important Sub types of Persistent Depressive Disorder, mostly based on when Symptoms began. Although the typical age of onset has been estimated to be in the early, 20s, is associated with three characteristics: (1) Greater chronicity (it lasts longer), (2) Relatively poor prognosis (response to treatment) and (3) Stronger likelihood of the disorder running in the family of the affected Individuals. Persistent Depressive Disorder may last 20 to 30 yrs or more, although studies have reported a median duration of approximately 5 yrs in adults and 4 yrs in children.
Treatment for persistent depressive disorder is most effective and easiest when it’s started early. Most people are treated with a combination of these methods.
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V. Mark Durand, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA- ST. PETERSBERG
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