Dysthymia is an affective disorder of a chronic depressive character characterized by low self-esteem, appearance of a melancholic mood, sad and distressed. It is believed that dysthymia's origin is genetic-hereditary and its development would influence psychosocial factors such as uprooting or lack of stimuli in childhood or other causes.
The term was first used by James Kocsis of Cornell University during the 1970s. A new change in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) is the categorical modification of the dysthymia whose name has been replaced as Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Epidemiology of Dysthymia
It is considered that dysthymia an affect between 3 and 5% of the population. The onset of dysthymia is usually early. It appears with double frequency in women than in men with alone or associated with other psychiatric disorders, especially serious depressions and loss of sexual appetite. Social deterioration and abuse of substances such as alcohol and other drugs are frequent in its evolution. Dysthymia is related to neurasthenia or psychasthenia. The main symptom of persistent dysthymic mood is almost every day for at least two years.
Dysthymia symptoms may include:
- Eating Disorders: Inappetence or compulsive
- Sleep disorders: insomnia or hypersomnia
- Sensation of vital energy deficit and continuous
- Disorders of memory and ability to concentrate
- Low self-esteem, feeling of hopelessness and pessimism
- Inability to make decisions
Diagnosis of dysthymia is done due to existence of the main symptom and some of the secondary symptoms which are stable and persistent, although patients may experience variations over time in the intensity of the symptomatology.
The most effective treatment for dysthymia is association of antidepressant drugs which inhibit serotonin reuptake with behavioral, cognitive, psychoanalytic, interpersonal, group psychotherapies. Without treatment, dysthymia usually develops into major depression, called "double depression.
If the medication is considered necessary, the most commonly prescribed antidepressants for this disorder are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other drugs that may be used for treating dysthymia include new double-acting agents such as bupropion (Wellbutrin), and other antidepressants (such as bupropion), such as bupropion (bupropion), eosinopril (fluoxetine), Venlafaxine (Effexor), mirtazapine (Remeron, Avanza), (Pristiq) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Sometimes, two different antidepressant medications are prescribed together or a physician may prescribe a mood stabilizer or anxiolytic drug in combination with an antidepressant.
Side Effects of Medications
Some side effects for SSRIs are: sexual dysfunction, nausea, diarrhea, drowsiness or insomnia, short-term memory loss and fears. Antidepressant medications can cause suicide and aggression in some cases, particularly in children and adolescents. Some antidepressants are ineffective in some patients. Older antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants or MAOIs can be used in these cases. Tricyclic antidepressants are more effective but have worse side effects. Side effects of tricyclic antidepressants are "weight gain, dry mouth, blurred vision, sexual dysfunction and low blood pressure."
Dysthymia is a disease that lasts for years. Few people recover completely. It is common practice that the treatment. Without solving dysthymia completely, clinical picture of dysthymia improves.