Neurotic depression (dysthymia); Dysthymic disorder; Chronic depression; Depression - chronic
Treatment for dysthymia includes antidepressant drug therapy, along with some type of talk therapy.
Medications often do not work as well for dysthymia as they do for major depression. It also may take longer after starting medication for you to feel better.
The following medications are used to treat dysthymia:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the drugs most commonly used for dysthymia. They include: fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro).
- Other antidepressants used to treat dysthymia include: serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), bupropion (Wellbutrin), tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
People with dysthymia often benefit from some type of talk therapy. Talk therapy is a good place to talk about feelings and thoughts, and most importantly, to learn ways to deal with them. Types of talk therapy include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches depressed people ways of correcting negative thoughts. People can learn to be more aware of their symptoms, learn what seems to make depression worse, and learn problem-solving skills.
- Insight-oriented or psychodynamic psychotherapy can help someone with depression understand the psychological factors that may be behind their depressive behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.
- Joining a support group of people who are experiencing problems like yours can also help. Ask your therapist or health care provider for a recommendation.
Review Date: 08/13/2010
Reviewed By: David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.