Dysthymia, or persistent depressive disorder, is a mood disorder that is characterised by long-term, chronic symptoms of depression. A person who has dysthymia may feel mostly hopeless and sad for most of the day, on most days, for at least two years. Dysthymia can also cause significant problems in a person’s life, including difficulty working, socialising, or sleeping. While it is not as severe as major depression, dysthymia can still be debilitating and requires treatment. In this post, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment of dysthymia.
The causes of dysthymia are unknown, but it may be triggered by environmental factors such as stress, difficult childhood experiences, or the loss of a loved one. It may be due to one or more reasons, such as:
- Brain Chemistry: The imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain is one of the major causes of depression. Environmental factors, such as anxiety and prolonged stress, can alter brain chemicals, leading to dysthymia.
- Inherited genes: Persistent Depressive Disorder is common in those patients who have a family history of this condition. However, studies are still going on to find the specific genes that cause dysthymia.
- Life events or traumatic experiences: Difficult situations such as loss of a loved one, major life changes, and trauma can also cause depression and further lead to dysthymia.
The diagnosis of dysthymia includes observation of the patient’s mental state over time by different doctors, who fill out psychiatric reports so that there are no inconsistencies between examiners in terms of how dysthymia is diagnosed. Dysthymia is very difficult to diagnose because the patients usually don’t want to be labelled as depressed.So, doctors have to rely on their judgement based on the way patients behave over several appointments.
Dysthymic disorder causes serious problems in patients’ lives because they lose interest in everything, even the things that they once enjoyed doing. It also develops other psychiatric disorders such as substance abuse or other mood disorders that need special dysthymic treatment tailored to them. Some of the major symptoms of dysthymia include:
- loss of interest in every thing
- excessive sadness
- low self-esteem
- feelings of guilt
- poor appetite or binge eating
- sleep-related issues
- lack of concentration and decreased productivity
Treatment for dysthymia includes coping techniques like yoga and meditation, which can be practised at home during times spent alone after dysthymia therapy sessions. There are various kinds of antidepressants that may be prescribed to treat dysthymia, including Zoloft, Prozac, Cymbalta, etc. Other important coping techniques include lifestyle changes and self-care regimes such as:
- Avoiding alcohol
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Establishing a fixed sleep schedule
- Practicing stress management techniques
While fighting with a kind of chronic depression, even small changes can make a huge difference. Adopting and following self-care routines complements medication. These will help you achieve a shift in your mood and mindset.
Dysthymia treatment has a 60%+ completion rate, which demonstrates that it is a very treatable condition. The first step towards getting the right treatment is to see your doctor for more information on what the best course of action would be for you given your current situation.
Depression can be a debilitating condition that affects people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. The main causes are stress and genetics, though there may be an environmental trigger as well, which leads to the development of dysthymic symptoms. There are many different signs and symptoms associated with this condition, ranging from low energy levels to feelings of hopelessness or helplessness. It is important to know the signs so that you or someone else in your life can get help before it escalates into something more severe like dysthymia. If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to one of the best psychiatrists in India from the comfort of your home. Just Google “best psychiatrist in India” or “best psychiatrist near me” and seek a second opinion from the award-winning doctors. We’re here 24/7!