This post contain affiliate links
Living with Dysthymia or Dysthymic Disorder can be difficult. It is difficult for the person who suffers from it and it is difficult for the people around you.
There is no other way to put it.
But is doesn’t have to be that way.
What is Dysthymic Disorder
Dysthymic disorder is a persistent, low level and somewhat chronic depression. It is usually mild but it can at times become a full blown depressive episode.
Dysthymia affects 2 percent of the American population in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Like most types of depression, it strikes more women than men. And while dysthymia is usually less severe than major depression, the symptoms — low self-esteem, sadness, fatigue, and more — are very real.
What Causes Dysthymic Disorder?
The causes of Dysthymic disorder are not fully known but scientists believe that an imbalance of the brain chemical called serotonin may be involved. Personality factors, medical illnesses, and stressful life situations may also contribute to the development of this condition, which can begin in childhood or adulthood. You have to have symptoms for two years or longer to be diagnosed with dysthymic disorder.
•Biochemical. People with dysthymia may have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain, but they may eventually help pinpoint causes.
Read- Furiously Happy
•Genes. Dysthymia appears to be more common in people whose biological (blood) relatives also have the condition.
•Environment. As with depression, environment may contribute to dysthymia. Environmental causes are situations in your life that are difficult to cope with, such as the loss of a loved one, financial problems or a high level of stress.
What Are Some Symptoms?
- Low self-esteem,
- feelings of failure,
- Feelings of sadness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Trouble concentrating
- Changes in sleep habits — oversleeping or not sleeping enough
- Changes in appetite — overeating or poor appetite
Everyone’s symptoms will be different.
Dysthymic Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment
Talk with your doctor, who can evaluate your symptoms and medical history. A diagnosis of dysthymia involves a careful assessment of your depression symptoms. Your doctor will ask you questions about your mood and feelings, sleep habits, energy level, and ability to concentrate and remember things. He or she may also perform tests to determine if there is a medical reason, such as a thyroid problem or a medication you are taking, for your symptoms.
Dysthymia treatment may include antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, or lifestyle modifications. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional who is experienced in treating dysthymia and other forms of depression. In addition to following your doctor’s advice on how to treat your condition you should participating in activities you enjoy, eating a healthful diet, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and exercising regularly to help lift your spirits.
Read– The Depression Cure
Also check out these Dysthymia Resources
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Depression Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment Program of the National Institute of Mental Health www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
- American Psychiatric Association
Talk to your doctor and be open with them about how you are feeling. They will help get you pointed in the right direction.
If you would like to share your own “Living with Dysthymia” stories and coping tips, please comment.
Like what you have read? Please be sure to share it.
“Change The Code. Change Your Life”