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Once upon a time, I was diagnosed with having Dysthymia. I never really understood what they meant until I did some research. I found quite, offended? by the diagnosis. (Mind you I no longer have the dx of it). Dysthymia is a chronic version of depression that lasts over two or more years and is less "serious" (as the doctor told me) as MDD.

When I got the dx, like I said I felt offended. It was like they didn't think I was as seriously depressed as someone with MDD. Mind you I now have the dx of MDD, because they realized after a long time my depression is rather 'episodic' with the Psychosis aswell.

Has anyone else every been given the dx of Dysthymia or still has the dx? What do you feel about it?

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"Less serious" is not very accurate. The diagnostic criteria clearly state that it is a condition that causes significant distress and/or functional incapacitation. It's not 'Depression Lite' so much as 'Depression Long.' Early onset in most instances. Lifelong course. Going through life under a low ceiling. I've got no studies to back it up, but in my experience, folks with Dysthymia may also not show as strong a response to AD's. So the less serious notion is a bit flawed. Perhaps more accurate to say that it is not as rapidly/critically/thoroughly incapacitating as MDD. But certainly a difficult condition to live with. And treat.

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"Less serious" is not very accurate. The diagnostic criteria clearly state that it is a condition that causes significant distress and/or functional incapacitation. It's not 'Depression Lite' so much as 'Depression Long.' Early onset in most instances. Lifelong course. Going through life under a low ceiling. I've got no studies to back it up, but in my experience, folks with Dysthymia may also not show as strong a response to AD's. So the less serious notion is a bit flawed. Perhaps more accurate to say that it is not as rapidly/critically/thoroughly incapacitating as MDD. But certainly a difficult condition to live with. And treat.

Agreed. I would even argue that Dysthymia is even worse than MDD. I have both, and if I had to choose, I'd get rid of the former. This is because there's no natural reprieve - ever; whereas, MDD usually follows a repetitive course of various lengths. Hence the just trudge through it & things will get better eventually approach. The meds haven't worked since very early on when I still showed a response to them, and when I am suicidal it's independent of where I am depression wise at the time. I just go from bad to worse to bad on a cycle. It's never over. Fun stuff.

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The psychologist never said specifically that she think's I'm dysthymic or not, but I think maybe she thinks so. I'm not sure if I'm dysthymic or not, but I had a major depressive episode once because I was under a lot of stress. I went to a psychologist and she said even though I'm not severely depressed atm, she still thinks I'm kind of depressed and I've been that way for a long time and recommended antidepressants. I'm really not entirely sure I'm depressed or at least more depressed than what is considered normal by society's standards, but I guess if my life could be better, it might not be bad to try to improve something. I tried concerta from a general physician for some reason (long story), but it didn't really do anything except make me paranoid. I went to a psychiatrist that prescribed abilify to treat the anxiety/paranoia. I wasn't prescribed an antidepressant, but abilify seemed to help me in some ways by itself. I don't think I need medication for anxiety since I was just temporarily paranoid from the medication I went off of, but it did improve my energy, mood, focus, motivation, and sleep patterns. Maybe it would help someone with amotivation and bad sleep habbits like me since that's what I'm like without it. I always just thought I was lazy and I guess I am, but abilify seems to help for some reason. I sleep a lot more regularly now and it seems easier to sleep at the same time consistantly and get enough sleep to function. I don't think improvement in sleep is the only way it helps, though, because I also have more focus and motivation and my mood might be slightly better. Last time I saw my psychologist on it, she said I seemed a lot less depressed.

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I have Dysthymia and MDD. When I'm in a major depression, i know i will eventually pull out of it; however, all i end up with is still depressed, just not as far in the pit. Meds typically don't help dysthymia much and I'd rather be ANYTHING than dysthymic to tell the truth. My doc says my "level of normal" is just not high as "regular" folks. Yes, I can function, but I'm never 100%. it's a condition that never improves, and it sucks.

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I have Dysthymia and MDD. When I'm in a major depression, i know i will eventually pull out of it; however, all i end up with is still depressed, just not as far in the pit. Meds typically don't help dysthymia much and I'd rather be ANYTHING than dysthymic to tell the truth. My doc says my "level of normal" is just not high as "regular" folks. Yes, I can function, but I'm never 100%. it's a condition that never improves, and it sucks.

I've had this open for a few days now and I can't really put it better than crazycatnapper.

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The very first time I saw a pdoc and was properly diagnosed 11 years ago when I was 40, I was dx'ed with dysthymia and MDD recurrent. I wasn't in a depressive episode at the time, and when the Wellbutrin kicked in I asked him, "Is this what everyone else feels like most of the time?", and he said that it was.

Since then I've had two more depressive episodes, and have been on Wellbutrin combined with a mood stabilizer for about a year. The mood stabilizer has made a huge difference and I don't think my dysthmia is as bad because of it, but I know I have to try really hard to stay up at the level of what seems to be normal for most people. I guess I'm resigned to my fate, but it sucks, and I would like to quit trying so hard all the time. It's like always swimming with weights tied to you, and never quite reaching the shore for a rest.

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