Dysthymia is treated with a similar approach to that used for depression - with medication and psychotherapy. The most effective treatment is a combination of strategies.
Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., fluoxetine*, citalopram, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline), may be used in the treatment of dysthymia.
Short-term psychotherapeutic approaches to treating dysthymia are quite effective at treating the symptoms of depression. Effective psychotherapies include cognitive behavioural psychotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and peer support.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps people understand how their thoughts affect feelings, and how feelings affect behaviour.
- Interpersonal therapy (IT) involves focusing on problems with a person's relationships with others.
- Group therapy may also be used to help manage dysthymia.
The herbal preparation St. John's wort may also be helpful for mild depression. Although several studies have shown some benefit, results have been inconsistent. Caution must be advised before people self-medicate to treat dysthymia. Just because a remedy is available without prescription and is herbal doesn't mean that it's safe. Adverse reactions to and drug interactions with herbal remedies are increasingly reported. Before turning to St. John's wort or other self-medication to treat dysthymia, it's vital to discuss this option first with a doctor or pharmacist.
It is an unfortunate myth that dysthymia is not a treatable medical condition. It is treatable and many people do recover with treatment.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Dysthymic-Disorder