Difference Between MDD and Dysthymic Disorder

Depending on how long you are experiencing these feelings, you may have MDD or dysthymic disorder. MDD or Major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder carry a vital social and human burden.

MDD vs Dysthymic Disorder

The main difference between MDD and dysthymic disorder is that MDD or Major depressive disorder is a common mental illness that negatively affects the way you feel, act, and think. MDD may lead to severe physical and emotional issues. On the other hand, dysthymic disorder refers to a pre-stage of depression that can last for years but is less severe than MDD.

MDD vs Dysthymic Disorder

It is also known as clinical depression and can impact behavior and mood as well as several physical functions, like sleep and appetite. In MDD a person feels extreme sadness for a long period.

The dysthymic disorder generally lasts for more than two years and its intensity changes over time. Dysthymic disorder is not as severe as MDD or Major depressive disorder.

Comparison Table Between MDD and Dysthymic Disorder

Parameters of Comparison MDDDysthymic Disorder
Definition MDD or major depressive disorder refers to a mental illness that negatively affects the way an individual feels, acts and thinks and leads to physical and emotional problems.     Dysthymic disorder refers to a milder form of depression, less severe than major depressive disorder, and can affect family life, physical health, social life, relationships, and daily activities.
Symptoms The major symptoms of MDD are having less pleasure or interest in most of the activities, depressed mood, fatigue, feeling guilty or worthless, unintentionally gaining or losing weight, insomnia, and so on.      The major symptoms of dysthymic disorder are hopelessness, trouble in making decisions and concentrating, excessive anger or irritability, feelings of worries and guilt over the past, lack of energy or tiredness, emptiness, sadness, self-criticism, low self-esteem, and so on.
Causes Having a stressful life, dementia, anxiety, chronic medical issues, experiencing abuse, and sometimes it may be genetic.      Severe medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, chronic stress or trauma, a family or person history of having the dysthymic disorder.
Diagnosis Doctors recognize MDD if a person has at least 5 of its symptoms.      Doctors recognize Dysthymic disorder if a person has at least two of its symptoms.
Treatment Behavioral activation, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, medications like SNRIs, SSRIs, and other medications like mirtazapine, bupropion.     CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, medications like SNRIs, and SSRIs.

What is MDD?

MDD or major depressive disorder is a severe mood disorder where an individual can experience a low mood for two weeks or more and lose interest in daily activities. It is also known as clinical depression.

MDD can cause by having a stressful life, dementia, anxiety, chronic medical issues, experiencing abuse, and sometimes it may be genetic. 

These symptoms need to adversely affect the person’s personal life, social life, and job adversely. A person needs to have at least two of these symptoms for at least two weeks.

Psychotherapy-based treatments like Behavioral activation, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and medications like SNRIs, SSRIs, and other medications like mirtazapine, bupropion are used in the treatment of MDD.

What is Dysthymic Disorder?

Dysthymic disorder refers to a milder form of depression, less severe than major depressive disorder, and can affect family life, physical health, social life, relationships, and daily activities.

The major symptoms of dysthymic disorder are hopelessness, trouble in making decisions and concentrating, excessive anger or irritability, feelings of worries and guilt over the past, lack of energy or tiredness, emptiness, sadness, self-criticism, low self-esteem, and so on.

Doctors use the symptoms of the dysthymic disorder to diagnose it. A person needs to have at least two of its symptoms, which include irritability or depression lasting for at least two years, to receive the diagnosis.

Treatment for dysthymic disorder is very similar to the treatment of MDD. Doctors generally use two methods to treat this disorder- psychotherapy methods like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and medications like SNRIs and SSRIs. SSRI is more preferable to doctors and therapists as it has fewer side effects compared to SNRIs.

Main Difference Between MDD and Dysthymic Disorder 

  1. The major symptoms of MDD are having less pleasure or interest in most of the activities, depressed mood, fatigue, feeling guilty or worthless, unintentionally gaining or losing weight, insomnia, and so on. The major symptoms of dysthymic disorder are
  2. Psychotherapy-based treatments like Behavioral activation, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and medications like SNRIs, SSRIs, and other medications like mirtazapine, bupropion are used in the treatment of MDD. Doctors generally use two methods to treat dysthymic disorder- psychotherapy methods like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and medications like SNRIs and SSRIs.
Difference Between MDD and Dysthymic Disorder

Conclusion

These two mental conditions are relatively common. But there are some differences between MDD and Dysthymic disorder.

MDD may lead to severe physical and emotional issues. On the other hand, dysthymic disorder refers to a chronic depression that can last for years but is less severe than MDD.

References

  1. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=what+is+major+depressive+disorder&oq=what+is+Majo#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D3FtbmsfNFLkJ
  2. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_ylo=2017&q=what+is+dysthymic+disorder&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DKUizw5nOz5YJ
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