Dysthymia Article

  Dysthymia characteristics include an extended period of depressed mood combined with a minimum of two other symptoms which can include insomnia or hypersomnia, fatigue or low energy, eating changes (more or less), low self-esteem, or feelings of hopelessness. Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions are treated as another possible symptom. Mild degrees of dysthymia may end in people withdrawing from stress and avoiding opportunities for failure. In more severe cases of dysthymia, people may even withdraw from daily activities. They will usually find little pleasure in usual activities and pastimes. Diagnosis of dysthymia is often difficult due to the subtle nature of the symptoms and patients can often hide them in social situations, making it challenging for others to detect symptoms. Additionally, dysthymia often occurs at an equivalent time as other psychological disorders, which adds A level of complexity in determining the presence of dysthymia, particularly because there's often an overlap in the symptoms of disorders. There is a high incidence of comorbid illness in those with dysthymia. Suicidal behaviour is also a particular problem with persons with dysthymia. It is vital to seem for signs of major depression, anxiety disorder, generalised mental disorder, alcohol and substance misuse and mental disorder. There is some evidence of a genetic basis for all kinds of depression, including dysthymia. A study using identical and fraternal twins indicated that there's a stronger likelihood of identical twins both having depression than fraternal twins. This provides support for the idea that dysthymia is caused in part by heredity. A new model has recently surfaced in the literature regarding the HPA axis (structures in the brain that get activated in response to stress) and its involvement with dysthymia (e.g. phenotypic variations of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine vasopressin (AVP), and down-regulation of adrenal functioning) as well as forebrain serotonergic mechanisms. Since this model is highly provisional, further research is still needed.  

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