BRAIN FOOD: Are you suffering from ... Dysthymia

BRAIN FOOD: Are you suffering from ... Dysthymia - Do you feel tired and uninspired? Do you lack an appetite for sex or food, preferring to stay in bed and watch television than go to work or even paint the town red? You may be suffering from dysthymia -

by HELEN KIRWAN-TAYLOR, helen@kirwantaylor.demon.co.uk

Do you feel tired and uninspired? Do you lack an appetite for sex or food, preferring to stay in bed and watch television than go to work or even paint the town red? You may be suffering from dysthymia - a general kind of lethargy and pessimism associated with sub-clinical depression. But unlike depression proper, dysthymia is a bit 'now you see it, now you don't'. Often, by the time you've dragged yourself to the doctor to beg for Prozac, it's gone again. Treatment can be as elusive as the disease. Most patients will benefit from anti-depressants, though there is evidence that it's more placebo effect than anything else. Therapy works, provided you're depressed on the day you show up - you could just as easily be talking energetically about your recent promotion and anniversary plans. If you are, don't expect a refund.

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