Dysthymia is a
Neurotic depression (dysthymia); Dysthymic disorder; Chronic depression; Depression - chronic
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The exact cause of dysthymia is unknown. It tends to run in families. Dysthymia occurs more often in women than in men and affects up to 5% of the general population.
Many people with dysthymia have a long-term medical problem or another mental health disorder, such as anxiety, alcohol abuse, or drug addiction. About half of people with dysthymia will also have an episode of major depression at some point in their lives.
Dysthymia in the elderly is often caused by:
- Difficulty caring for themselves
- Mental decline
- Medical illnesses
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.