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Study Examines Quality of Life for Individuals with Dysthymic Disorder

Whenever there is a mental disorder and a developmental disability present, an individual can struggle with everyday things and a lack of a high quality of life. Now, an Australian study has found that affective disorders comorbid with medical, somatic illnesses have a major impact on health-related quality of life and disability.

These elements have also been proven to have a more pronounced effect in dysthymic disorder than in major depressive disorder. This finding may have been affected by the differences in the time course of both conditions.

According to a Science Daily piece, the results of this study demonstrate a support for an improved identification and treatment of affective disorders in patients with somatic illnesses.

Individuals were assessed for the presence of dysthymic disorder and depression through the use of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Each participant also received a thorough medical examination to assess the presence of comorbid somatic conditions.

This study found that comorbidity with illnesses from a maximum of six somatic disease groups was more prevalent in persons with dysthymic disorder than those with manic depressive disorder.

At the same time, persons with dysthymic disorder had a notably lower mental health summary score and more disability days than those with manic depressive disorder. However, the physical health summary scores were not significantly different between participants with dysthymic disorder and manic depressive disorder.

According to this investigation, affective disorders comorbid with medical, somatic illnesses have a major impact on a person’s quality of life and disability. Researchers suggest that the results support the need for an improved identification and treatment of affective disorders in patients that suffer with somatic illnesses.

Continued research into this area and focused treatments for these individuals can help to improve their overall quality of life, while also giving health professionals the insight they need to properly treat these conditions.

There is still hope.

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