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From Ancient Greek δυσθυμία (dusthumía, despondency, despair; ill-temper), from δυσ- (dus-, bad) + θυμός (thumós, soul, spirit).


dysthymia (usually uncountable, plural dysthymias)

  1. A tendency to be depressed, without hope.
  2. (psychiatry) A form of clinical depression, characterized by low-grade depression which lasts at least 2 years.
    • 1989, James F. Masterson, Ralph Klein (editors), Psychotherapy of the Disorders of the Self: The Masterson Approach, page 369,
      For diagnostic, research, and treatment reasons, a distinction should always be made between the milder dysthymias, atypical and hysteroid depressions, and the more serious major depressive illnesses, with and without melancholic (vegetative) and psychotic features.
    • 1994, John C. Markowitz, James H. Kocsis, Chapter 9: Dysthymia, Leon Grunhaus, John F. Greden (editors), Severe Depressive Disorders, page 209,
      A decade ago most psychiatrists would have been puzzled to find a chapter on dysthymia in a book about severe depressive disorders. They would have characterized this chronic form of depression as mild, "minor," or "syndromal." [] In recent years, research has demonstrated the severity, prevalence, and importance of vogorous antidepressant treatment of dysthymia, justifying its inclusion here among serious mood disorders.
    • 2007, Brian B. Doyle, Understanding and Treating Adults With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder[1], page 231:
      In other patients, the dysthymia may co-occur with but not be causally related to the ADHD (Adler and Cohen 2004). [] Early studies of adults with ADHD found rates of dysthymia as high as 67%–81% (Wender et al. 1985).
    • 2007, Jon G. Allen, Coping With Depression: From Catch-22 to Hope[2], page 12:
      Dysthymia in childhood or adulthood also significantly increases the risk of developing a subsequent major depressive episode.
    • 2011, Gary Landsberg, Wayne Hunthausen, Lowell Ackerman, Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, page 363,
      Involutive depression or bipolar dysthymias must be ruled out. [] Two characteristics of bipolar dysthymias are distinguishable: first, the bipolar disorders are cyclical in character and develop over several days to several weeks, which is quite different from the sudden and sometimes multiple changes of chronic depression; second, the productive phases of dysthymias are accompanied by a considerable decrease in the duration of sleep, to less than 6 hours per day.



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