Dysthymia: What is it? Who is presented? Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment

People with this disorder usually experience little or no joy in their lives. Instead, things are pretty grim most of the time.

If you have Dysthymia, you may not be able to remember a time when you felt happy, excited or inspired.

It may seem that you have been depressed all your life. You probably have difficulty enjoying things and having fun. On the contrary, you may tend to be inactive and withdrawn, worry frequently and criticize yourself as a failure.

You may also feel guilty, irritable, slow and have difficulty sleeping regularly.

In whom is it presented?

Dysthymia is a milder but more lasting type of depression that affects women two to three times more often than men. Diagnosis occurs when a person has been depressed continuously for at least two years.

For children, the duration should only be one year, and their mood may be irritable instead of sad or depressed. People with Dysthymia can appear chronically depressed to the point that it seems to be part of their personality.

When a person finally seeks treatment for Dysthymia, it is not uncommon for him to have had this condition for several years.

Because Dysthymia can develop early in a person’s life, it is not uncommon for someone with this condition to believe that it is normal to always feel depressed. They often realize that the quality of their mood is something out of the ordinary.

This disease often goes unnoticed and, therefore, is not treated.

Dysthymia is a condition that tends to develop early in a person’s life, but most people take approximately ten years before each treatment.

This is unfortunate because the sooner a person seeks help, the sooner they can get relief and possibly avoid more distress. It is very important that children with Dysthymia symptoms receive an evaluation from a mental health professional or doctor.

Early treatment can help these young people avoid more serious mood disorders, difficulties in school and social life, and possible substance abuse problems as they get older.

Statistics

At any time, 3% of the population can be affected by Dysthymia. Over the course of a lifetime, it seems to affect approximately 6%.

Those with close relatives who have had a major depressive disorder have a greater chance of developing Dysthymia. If a person develops Dysthymia, it usually occurs early in life, from infancy to early adulthood.

Symptoms of Dysthymia are usually chronic, however, people often do not seek treatment unless they develop major depression. Having a Distinctive disorder increases the risk of developing a major depressive disorder .

Of those with Dysthymia, approximately 10% will develop major depression. The presence of both conditions is sometimes referred to as “double depression”.

Dysthymia may also be associated with the presence of personality disorders (eg, avoidant, dependent, histrionic, borderline, narcissistic).

However, sometimes it can be difficult to determine the extent to which a personality disorder is present, since some of the long-term problems of Dysthymia can affect interpersonal relationships, as well as the way a person perceives himself or herself. same

Dysthymia can also be related to the use of substances. People with this type of chronic depression can abuse drugs or alcohol by trying to alleviate their discouragement and other unpleasant symptoms.

Dysthymia in children can sometimes be related to anxiety disorders, learning disorders, attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral disorder, and mental retardation.

Physical illnesses that may be associated with Dysthymia include acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hypothyroidism, and multiple sclerosis.

Disorder disorder diagnosis

A person has a depressed mood most of the time almost every day for at least two years. Children and adolescents may have an irritable mood, and the time frame is at least one year.

Symptoms

While depressed, a person experiences at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Either overeating or lack of appetite.
  • Sleeping a lot or having difficulty sleeping.
  • Fatigue, lack of energy.
  • Bad self-esteem
  • Difficulty with concentration or decision making.
  • Feeling hopeless

The following points should also be considered when presuming Dysthymia in a patient:

  • A person has not been free of symptoms during the period of two years (one year for children and adolescents).
  • During the two year period (one year for children and adolescents) there has not been a major depressive episode.
  •  A person has not had a manic, mixed or hypomanic episode. The symptoms are not present only during the presence of another chronic disorder.
  • A medical condition or the use of substances (ie, alcohol, drugs, medications, toxins) do not cause the symptoms.
  • The symptoms of the person are cause of great anguish or difficulty to work at home, work or other important areas.

Possible specifiers to describe Dysthymia:

  • Early onset : dysthymic symptoms begin before age 21. This can increase the likelihood of developing later major depressive episodes.
  • Late onset : dysthymic symptoms begin after 21 years of age. Atypical characteristics: describes the symptoms experienced during the last two years.

Treatment of Dysthymia

Due to the chronicity of the symptoms, sometimes people feel that persistent sadness is only part of life. If you experience symptoms of Dysthymia, it is important to seek treatment.

A good first step is to obtain a physical evaluation from your primary care physician to rule out any possible medical cause of the symptoms.

Keep a record of your symptoms for a few weeks to help your doctor better understand how the symptoms affect your daily life.

The two main treatments for Dysthymia include medication and psychotherapy, but your treatment plan will depend on factors such as the severity of the symptoms.

The symptoms, their preferences, their ability to tolerate medications and previous mental health treatment. For children and adolescents, the first recommendation is psychotherapy .

Medicines

The types of antidepressants most commonly used to treat Dysthymia include the following: SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) TCA (Tricyclic Antidepressants) SNRI (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors).

It is important to ask your doctor for detailed information about the possible side effects of the medication and to analyze any history of suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Although antidepressant medications can cause uncomfortable side effects for some, you should never stop taking these medications abruptly. Always consult your prescribing doctor before making any medication changes.

Psychotherapy

Referral therapy, or counseling, is a general way of treating Dysthymia when discussing your symptoms and how they affect your life with a mental health provider.

There are many benefits for psychotherapy, including:

  • Crisis management and symptoms. Identify triggers that contribute to your Dysthymia and coping strategies to manage them.
  • Identify negative beliefs and replace them with positives.
  • Learn adaptive problem-solving skills.
  • Look for ways to build positive relationships with others.
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Learn to establish and achieve personal goals.

There are different types of psychotherapy available, and many people require a combination of treatments. Talk with your mental health provider about the following options:

Any treatment plan for Dysthymia should include healthy changes in lifestyle, including:

  • Establishment of healthy sleep patterns.
  • Daily exercise.
  • Nutrition.
  • Help with life skills, as needed.

There is no “cure” for depressive disorders, people living with Dysthymia can live happy and fulfilling lives. Symptoms may go up and down over time, but creating a strong support system and seeking professional help will help you on your road to recovery.