How Much Do You Know about Dysthymia?
Amanda Page | June 11, 2012
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True or False: Dysthymia is not as common as major depression.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, dysthymia affects approximately 1.5% of the U.S. adult population, while major depression affects approximately 6.7% of the same group.
Dysthymia can be diagnosed if the patient has had depressive symptoms for at least:
Unlike major depression, which can be diagnosed if the patient has bad depressive symptoms for two weeks or more, dysthymia can only be diagnosed in a patient who has had depressive symptoms for most days for at least two years.
True or False: Dysthymia is not as serious as major depression.
While dysthymic disorder symptoms generally manifest in a less severe form than they do in major depressive disorder, many members of the medical community consider it as serious, if not more serious, than major depression, due to its long-term impact on a patient’s quality of life.
True or False: Dysthymia does not need to be treated, as it will eventually go away on its own.
Dysthymia will not go away on its own. Indeed, doctors frequently see patients who have suffered with dysthymia for decades.
True or False: You can suffer from dysthymia or major depression, but not both.
Patients with dysthymia can have bouts of major depression superimposed on their dysthymia; the diagnosis for this combination is “double depression.”