, but its symptoms are milder and it lasts longer—at least two years. People with dysthymia experience mild to moderate depression that may subside during periods of normal mood that last up to two months. Dysthymia can be treated with medications, so contact your doctor if you think you have this condition.
The cause of dysthymia is not known. It is thought that changes in the brain’s production of the chemical serotonin may play a role. Serotonin helps your brain handle emotions and make judgments.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, giving special attention to:
Level of fatigue and how well you are sleeping
Ability to concentrate
Family history of depression
Your doctor may perform tests and/or a physical exam to determine if you have another medical condition (eg, a
thyroid disorder) or are taking a medication that is causing you to feel depressed. You may be referred to a
who specializes in treating depression.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Dysthymia can be treated with antidepressant medications that relieve depression. It may take a few weeks or months before you and your doctor can tell whether antidepressant medications are helping. You may need to take these medications for a number of years. It is important to keep taking them until your doctor tells you to stop.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a