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Chronic Depression (Dysthymia)

A mood disorder consisting of the same cognitive and physical problems as in depression, with less severe but longer-lasting symptoms.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About Dysthymia (Chronic Depression)

There are different types and severities of depression. Some only arise under certain circumstances, for example after giving birth.

The most common form of depression is known as unipolar depression. People experience several typical symptoms such as feeling low, exhaustion, joylessness and a lack of motivation for at least two weeks. Depending on how many symptoms a person has and how severe they are, depression is classed as mild, moderate or severe.

Dysthymia

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 because it lasts so long... Read more about Chronic Depression

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Depression: The Treatment and Management of Depression in Adults (Updated Edition)

This clinical guideline on depression is an updated edition of the previous guidance (published in 2004). It was commissioned by NICE and developed by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, and sets out clear, evidence- and consensus-based recommendations for healthcare staff on how to treat and manage depression in adults.

Depression in Children and Young People: Identification and Management in Primary, Community and Secondary Care

This guideline has been developed to advise on the identification and management of depression in children and young people in primary, community and secondary care. The guideline recommendations have been developed by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, carers, and guideline methodologists after careful consideration of the best available evidence. It is intended that the guidelines will be useful to clinicians and service commissioners in providing and planning high-quality care for children and young people with depression while also emphasising the importance of the experience of care for patients and their families.

Depression in Adults with a Chronic Physical Health Problem: Treatment and Management

This clinical guideline was commissioned by NICE and developed by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health. It sets out clear, evidenceand consensus-based recommendations for healthcare staff on how to treat and manage depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem.

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Summaries for consumers

Psychosocial interventions for treating depression in dialysis patients

Depression is the most common psychological problem in the chronic dialysis population and it affects their physical, mental and social well‐being. The aim of this review was to determine the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions (e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy) for treating depressed dialysis patients. No relevant randomised controlled trials were identified. Large, long‐term studies are needed in this area.

Types of depression

There are different types and severities of depression. Some only arise under certain circumstances, for example after giving birth.The most common form of depression is known as unipolar depression. People experience several typical symptoms such as feeling low, exhaustion, joylessness and a lack of motivation for at least two weeks. Depending on how many symptoms a person has and how severe they are, depression is classed as mild, moderate or severe.

Physical measures for treating depression in dialysis patients

Depression is the most common psychological problem in the chronic dialysis population and it affects their physical, mental and social well‐being. The aim of this review was to determine the effectiveness of physical measures (e.g. antidepressants, electro‐convulsive therapy) for treating depressed dialysis patients. Only one small, short‐term study was identified after an extensive literature search, and this study found no difference between treatment and control groups treated for depression. Large, long‐term studies are needed in this area.

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More about Chronic Depression

Photo of an adult woman

Also called: Dysthymic disorder, Persistent depressive disorder, Dysthymic

Other terms to know:
Chronic, Depression, Major Depression (Major Depressive Disorder)

Related articles:
Signs of Depression
Depression: Strategies for Family and Friends

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