Dating people with bipolar disorder

According to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published in 1994 (DSM-IV), dysthymia is a serious state of chronic depression, which persists for at least two years (one year for children and adolescents).

Dysthymia characteristics include an extended period of depressed mood combined with at least two other symptoms which may include insomnia or hypersomnia, fatigue or low energy, eating changes (more or less), low self-esteem, or feelings of hopelessness.

It is vital to look for signs of major depression, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, alcohol and substance misuse and personality disorder.

However, there are some indications that there is a genetic predisposition to dysthymia: "The rate of depression in the families of people with dysthymia is as high as fifty percent for the early-onset form of the disorder".

A combination of antidepressants and cognitive therapies can be helpful in preventing major depressive symptoms from occurring.

Additionally, exercise and good sleep hygiene (e.g., improving sleep patterns) are thought to have an additive effect on treating dysthymic symptoms and preventing them from worsening.

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This study found several areas of the brain that function differently.

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