Dysthymic disorder, also called dysthymia, is a less severe but chronic form of depression and is characterized by depressive symptoms that prevent one from functioning normally for at least two years. Depressive disorders in women often coexist with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, and anxiety disorders such as panic disorders, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder. Substance abuse can also co-occur with dysthymia, although this is more common among men than women. Studies have shown that both women and men who have depression and a serious medical illness, such as heart disease and diabetes, tend to have more severe symptoms of both illnesses.

This entry will examine dysthemia incidence and treatment in the United States. Approximately 3 percent of the U.S. population has dysthymia, ...

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