Dysthymia is a type of mood disorder that can be very debilitating. It is characterized by long-term, low-grade depression that can cause problems with work, school, and relationships. If you are struggling with dysthymia, don’t worry – there are treatments available that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. In this blog post, we will discuss what dysthymic disorder is, and we will also talk about the different treatment options that are available to you.
What Is Dysthymic Disorder?
A dysthymic is a form of depression that is less severe than major depressive disorder, but more chronic. Dysthymic disorder, also called persistent depressive disorder (PDD), is a long-term (chronic) form of depression. It is often characterized by a depressed mood, low self-esteem, and poor self-image. Many people with dysthymia also have problems with alcohol or drug abuse, anxiety disorders, or other mood disorders.
Dysthymic disorder is less common than major depressive disorder, but it is more disabling. People with dysthymia are more likely to have major depressive episodes. And to be hospitalized for depression than people who do not have dysthymia.
In fact, studies suggest that dysthymia may be more common than major depression. But it is often not recognized or treated. It usually begins in childhood or adolescence. But it can also start in adulthood.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dysthymia?
Dysthymic is chronic low-grade depression. The symptoms are not as severe as major depression. But they last longer, usually for at least two years. Some of the symptoms include:
- Feeling down, sad, or hopeless most of the time
- Having little interest or pleasure in doing things
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feeling tired or having little energy most of the time
- Having poor appetite or overeating
- Feeling bad about yourself – like you’re a failure or have let yourself or your family down
- Having trouble thinking or concentrating
- Feeling anxious, irritable, or easily frustrated
Although dysthymia is less severe than major depression, it can still be disabling. It can prevent you from functioning well at work, school, or home. And it can make it hard to have healthy relationships. If you have dysthymia, you may also experience major depressive episodes at times. This is called “double-depression.”
Moreover, the signs and symptoms of this disorder may differ depending on your age. For example, in children and adolescents, dysthymia may have some different or additional features, such as:
- Complaining about being bored
- Poor school performance or skipping school
- Frequent absences from work or poor job performance
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Thinking about death or suicide, making suicide attempts
So these are some of the symptoms that may be seen in a person with dysthymia. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help.
What Causes Dysthymic Disorder?
The causes of PDD are not currently known, but there are likely many factors involved. Brain chemistry, genes, stressful life events, and others. They may all contribute to the development of PDD. So let’s understand each one of these in a little more detail.
It’s believed that an imbalance of neurotransmitters (chemicals that relay messages between brain cells) may play a role in PDD. This means that the way nerve cells communicate with each other may be disrupted, which can lead to depressive symptoms. In fact, brain chemistry is more related to an imbalance in PDD than the major depressive disorder.
There is also evidence that genetics may play a role in the development of PDD. If you have a family member with depression, you may be more likely to develop the condition yourself. This suggests that there may be a genetic predisposition for developing PDD. In fact, genes may be more closely linked to PDD than any other factor.
Stressful life is really a significant matter to think about. Many people with PDD have experienced stressful life events prior to the onset of their disorder. These events may include the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or other major life changes. It’s believed that these stressful events may trigger the onset of PDD in people who are predisposed to the condition. Also, ongoing stress can make PDD symptoms worse.
So, these are some major causes of PDD. It is essential to understand the root cause of this condition in order to treat it effectively. If you or someone you know is suffering from PDD, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available that can help you manage your symptoms and live a healthy, happy life.
How To Diagnose Dysthymia?
Diagnosis for dysthymia can be tricky. Many of the symptoms of this disorder are similar to those experienced with major depression. The diagnosis is made by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker.
He or she will ask about your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them. It’s important to be honest in answering these questions, as the diagnosis is based on your self-reported symptoms.
There is no one test that can diagnose dysthymia. Rather, the diagnosis is based on a comprehensive evaluation. Your mental health professional will likely ask you to complete a questionnaire or interview to help him or her make the diagnosis.
In addition, your doctor may want to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. These include physical illnesses, such as an underactive thyroid gland. And other mental disorders, such as major depression or anxiety disorders.
If you are diagnosed with dysthymia, your mental health professional will likely recommend a combination of treatment methods. And eventually, with the right kind of help, you can feel better.
How To Treat It?
The treatment for dysthymia can be difficult, as the disorder can be recurring and long-lasting. However, there are various ways to treat dysthymia successfully. These include:
This is often the first step in treating dysthymia. Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. In this type of therapy, you will work with a therapist to identify negative thinking patterns and learn how to change them. Psychotherapy basically works with CBT and IPT.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that focuses on helping you change negative thought patterns. CBT has been shown to be an effective treatment for dysthymia.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a type of talk therapy that focuses on your relationships with others. IPT can help you learn how to communicate better and resolve conflict.
In some cases, medication may be necessary to treat dysthymia. Antidepressants are the most common type of medication used to treat dysthymia. These medications can help improve your mood and give you more energy. Also, it is believed that medications work best when used in combination with talk therapy.
Some of the examples of antidepressants that are used to treat dysthymia include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
These medications are highly effective, but they can also have some side effects. Some common side effects include:
If you are considering medication to treat dysthymia, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits.
In addition, to talk therapy and medication, there are some things you can do on your own to help manage dysthymia. These self-care strategies can include:
- Exercising releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Exercise can also help improve sleep and increase energy levels.
- Eating a healthy diet can help improve your mood and give you more energy. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein in your diet.
- Getting enough sleep is important for managing dysthymia. aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night.
- Managing stress is really essential. As stress can trigger dysthymic episodes. Learning how to manage stress can help you prevent or reduce these episodes. Some stress management techniques include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
Self-care is always important. But when you’re dealing with dysthymia, it’s even more crucial. These self-care tips can help you manage your symptoms and improve your mood.
In addition to self-care and professional treatment, another helpful resource for managing dysthymia is a support group. Connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can be really helpful. Support groups provide a space to share your experiences, offer and receive support, and learn new coping strategies.
There are many different types of support groups available. Some focus on general mental health, while others specifically address dysthymic disorder. You can find support groups online or in your community.
So, these are some of the treatment options that can help you manage symptoms of dysthymia. If you think you might be dealing with dysthymia, it’s important to talk to your doctor. With treatment, you can start to feel better and enjoy your life again.
You can contact Mantra Care, a leading provider of mental health services, for more information. The team of experts here can guide you through the different treatment options and help you find the one that’s right for you. Get in touch with us today to learn more. Book your free consultation now!
To conclude, dysthymic is a serious mental illness that can be effectively treated with medication, therapy, and self-care. Researchers found that a combination of all three treatment methods was the most effective in treating dysthymia. If you think you may be suffering from dysthymia, it’s important to seek professional help.
In fact, dysthymia is often comorbid with other mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. This means that dysthymia can make other mental disorders worse. So, if you’re struggling with dysthymia, getting treatment can also help improve your overall mental health. Hence, do not delay in seeking help and getting the treatment you need.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.