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How is dysthymic disorder different from normal sadness or unhappiness?



Answered by: David Hellerstein

Any sort of normal life loss, or transition, or stress may be accompanied by a few weeks of low mood. This is what psychiatrists call an “adjustment reaction with depressed mood.” Generally things improve after a few weeks to months.

In contrast, the person with DD remains depressed for years, even decades. This is not “normal sadness or unhappiness”—it is an illness!

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David J. Hellerstein, MD
Director of Medical Communications, Columbia U. Department of Psychiatry 

Dr. David J. Hellerstein is Director of Medical Communications at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. He is a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University.

He was formerly the Clinical Director of the Institute. He specializes in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, with a particular focus on the medication treatment of persistent depressive disorder, or chronic depression.

Dr. Hellerstein is also Director of the >>> Read more info



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