Dythymia (or Depressive Neurosis) is a chronic form of mild depression in which a person may feel consistently low. Characteristic of a person suffering from dysthymia may include a lack of enjoyment and pleasure in life that continues for at least six months. This condition is not as severe as clinical depression. Dysthymia usually lasts significantly longer than an episode of major depression. Depressive Neurosis or Dysthymia affects up to 5% of the general population. Like all depression, dysthymia is more common in women than in men. A person suffering from dysthymia could go into major depression from a stressful event in their life, like a death in the family or divorce. Dysthymia may occur alone or in conjunction with more severe depression.
People who suffer from dysthymia often have a different sense of reality. A person suffering from this disorder may believe they have a higher “understanding” of the world. Sufferers usually antisocial, have low self-esteem, and excessive guilt. Some dysthymia patients may respond well to antidepressants, while others may not. Psychotherapy can be used to treat dysthymia, however medication should be used due to the chronic nature of this condition.