What is Dysthymia? Symptoms and Treatment

Dysthymia is a chronic, low-level depression that can last for years. It often has fewer symptoms than major depression but can still have an impact on your life. If you think you may be experiencing dysthymia, it’s important to talk with your doctor about treatment options and getting help as soon as possible.

What is Dysthimia?

Dysthymia is a chronic form of depression which lasts for years and has less severe symptoms than a major depressive disorder (MDD). Dysthymia affects how people feel day to day and impacts their lives in more subtle ways; there are also different treatments available depending on what works best for the individual.

The person feels bad for most of the day in dysthymic disorder. This mood has spread to almost every aspect of life for the person. However, it can be said that these symptoms are less severe than depression. Despite the low level of intensity, it can be very challenging for a person to experience these symptoms for a long time.

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Dysthymia (Dysthymic disorder): Hopelessness, depression

A type of chronic, long-term depression with relatively mild symptoms compared to clinical depression. Symptoms include loss of appetite or overeating, insomnia or excessive sleep, weakness, chronic fatigue, concentration or difficulty in decision-making, despair, inability to normally enjoy pleasure, low self-esteem, guilt, feelings of self-pity, restlessness, and so on. countable. In order to make a diagnosis, symptoms should persist for at least two years and should not be caused by any other mental or medical condition.

What Are the Symptoms of Dysthymia?

  • Changes in eating patterns (excessive appetite or loss of appetite)
  • Changes in sleep patterns (excessive sleep or insomnia)
  • Feeling constantly tired
  • The person feels unsuccessful, worthless and does not trust himself/herself
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Sense of despair about the future

(These symptoms should be seen at least 2 years in adults and 1 year in children.)

Case Study – A Dysthymic Manager

The 28-year-old co-manager complained of depressive thoughts about work, her husband, and the future… She complained of constant depressive feelings, feelings of inferiority, and pessimism, and according to her, this had been going on since the age of 16 or 17. She was quite successful in college, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the smart students all the time. She dated men during her college years and her graduate studies, but she never followed a man she thought special because of feelings of inferiority and oppression.

Right after graduation, she married the man she was dating. She found him quite attractive but thought he was not “special“, and the most important reason she married him was that she thought she needed a husband to be her friend. Shortly after the marriage, the couple had a mouth fight between them. She was very critical of her husband’s clothes, work, and family; her husband also found her to be rejecting, supervising, and moody. He was beginning to think he’d made a mistake marrying her.

Recently, she had started to experience difficulties at work. She had the most ordinary jobs in the company. She admits that she often neglects things, never does more than she is asked for, and never defends her thoughts.

The dissatisfaction with her marriage, work, and social life cause her to feel tired. So she lost interest in life and receives treatment for the third time.

(Abnormal Psychology, Kacnus Publications)

How Does Dysthymia Occur?

Like all mental problems, there is no single factor for chronic depression. Therefore, we can count many factors such as genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Having a history of depression in the family history increases the chances of having a dysthymic disorder.

The loss of a loved one, natural disasters, traffic accidents, traumatic events such as job loss, and life events can cause chronic depression.

It is also an important factor that the person does not have a relative or an environment in which he/she can get social support.

Health problems, such as cancer and heart disease, are also triggers for chronic depression.

What are the differences between dysthymic disorder and depression?

The main difference between dysthymia and depression is the level of chronicization. Just as in depression, one feels badly unhappy and depressed. However, this condition persists to a lesser degree than the symptoms of depression. Thus, one’s functionality is not completely impaired. The reason that makes dysthymic disorder more severe than depression is that it is spread over a long period of life. This causes the existing symptoms to become permanent.

How to Treat Dysthymia

Most people with the dysthymic disorder do not receive appropriate treatment. In dysthymic disorder, just like depression, supportive therapy is an inevitable part of the treatment process. In addition to supportive therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also plays a key role in dealing with one’s dysfunctional, self-destructive thoughts. Through this therapy is to develop ways of managing daily social skills, solving feelings of helplessness, and coping with other life events.

Which Problems May Accompany Dysthymic Disorder?

  • Decreased quality of life
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Difficulties in social relations, family,
  • Chronic pain
  • Academic or business problems
  • Suicidal thoughts, high risk of suicide
  • Anxiety disorders

Last Updated on October 22, 2021 by Patric Johnson

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Currently studying psychology and researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Also have studied comprative literature,interested in gender studies,.

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