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Let's Talk About Dysthymia Vs. Major Depressive Disorder

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Of all the types of depression that get discussed — major depressive disorder, exogenous depression, endogenous depression, bipolar depression — there’s one type that isn’t talked about very often: dysthymia.

The word comes from Greek, where it is made up of “dys” (bad or ill) and “thymia” (mind or emotions). But in clinical terms, dysthymia has a more exact meaning than “ill humor” or “bad mood.” I had always assumed it came along a scale of severity that ranged from major depression through dysthymia to stability to hypomania to mania.

It could be I was mistaken. Johns Hopkins Medical has this to say: “Dysthymia is a milder, but long-lasting form of depression.

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