Encyclopedia > Dysthymia

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Dysthymia is a form of the mood disorder of depression characterised by a lack of enjoyment/pleasure in life that continues for at least six months. It differs from major depression in the severity of the symptoms. While dysthymia usually does not prevent a person from functioning, it prevents full enjoyment of life. Dysthymia also lasts much longer than an episode of major depression. Dysthymia may or may not respond to traditional anti-depressant medication and to other forms of therapy. Dysthymic individuals are often perceived as being 'dour' and humourless or as martinets. Many times a stressful or overwhelming situation, like having a first baby (Postpartum depression), will throw a dysthmic individual into a major depression. When a major depressive episode occurs on top of dysthymia, the condition is referred to as double depression[?].

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