Dysthymia is a chronic form
of depression. This means that this disorder might be mistaken as depression
itself because of its many similarities . This disorder might be identified
as "neurotic" or someone that suffers from neurosis. If someone happens to
suffer from neurosis, they usually tend to be nervous and high strung.
Dysthymia is usually associated with co morbid substanse abuse which is when
a patient abuses a controlling substance like alcohol or any depressant drug.
Abusing these substances can make one dependant and make them depressed.
Dysthymia is a more mild form of depression, so the symptoms are not as bad
and do not last as long. This disoreder can either happen in childhood or
Changes in the brain can be a reason for problems associated with dysthymia.
A chemical called serotonin in the brain may change levels and your brain
will react to things differently. Serotonin helps your brain handle and deal
with emotions. Medical problems such as AIDS, Hyperthyroidism, and Multiple
sclerosis could also help cause this disorder. Aids affects your immune
system and is caught by sharing needles or such.
Hyperthyroidism is caused by too much energy in the thyroid. The thyroid is
located in the neck. This causes increase of heart rate, weight loss and even
depression. Multiple sclerosis is a disease that attacks the central nervous
system in your body. It wears away all control over ones limbs. Personality
problems such as dependency, narcissism, and borderline are also distinct
reasons why one might have dysthymia. Dependancy is when a person relies upon
a drug or something to the point where that’s all they care about. They feel
like they cannot go on without it. Borderline is when a patient shows a
pevaseive pattern of instability. Stress, which is forcibly pressure or
influenece, may be factor because of its commonness. If there are more than
one of these present, it dysthymia could be more harder to distinguish. Adhd,
which is commonly found only in children, is a behavior that makes children
behave hyperactively or sometimes even innapoprietly. Dysthymia is a faily
common thing. Three percent of people in the united states have it. Even
though it is quite common, only two percent develop it in one year. Defined
by subsyndrol nature, fewer than five percent of these symptoms are required
to diagnose for a major depressive episode. Ten percent of the people that
have dysthymia, also develop a major depressive disorder
Mild chronic depression has long been known to exist. Although it has been
referred to by different names such as neurotic depression, minor depression,
intermittent depression and depressive personality, it has been labeled
'dysthymia.' The term literally means "ill-humored".
Dysthymia belongs to the classification of mood/affective disorders. Yet a
condition known as double depression also exists, in which dysthymia may be
superimposed on a major depressive episode. In addition, dysthymia has been
sub classified, according to clinical symptoms and presence of family
history, as sub affective dysthymia and character-spectrum dysthymia. Sub
affective dysthymics tend to respond to antidepressant medication and often
have a family history of mood disorder, whereas character-spectrum dysthymics
respond less well to medications and more often report a major loss as well
as family history of substance abuse.
It had long been thought that dysthymia was best classified as a character
disorder, in which the individual's core problems stemmed from a depressive
personality or temperament. For this reason, and because there had been few
studies of antidepressants in the treatment of dysthymia, the treatment of
choice had long been of a psychotherapy. Because dysthymia was conceptualized
as a mild form of mood disorder, it was routinely treated with sub threshold
doses of antidepressant, over inadequate durations of time.
Although dysthymia is not a new disorder, the possibility exists that its
diagnosis is becoming more talked about because of the success of the newer
generation of antidepressants in treating its symptoms. People who have
dysthymic disorder will often report that they don't recall ever not feeling
depressed, but they may be relatively functional in managing their life,
although the symptoms are severe enough to cause distress and interference
with important life role responsibilities. It is important to have a complete
physical to rule out any physical illnesses that might be causing the
depression. Also, if the person has a chronic medical condition that appears
to be the cause for the depression (such as any chronic debilitating
condition), then the correct diagnosis might be a Mood Disorder due to a
general Medical Condition, even if all the criteria for dysthymic disorder
are met. The question is whether the medical condition is physically causing
the depression, rather than creating chronic psychological distress that is
causing the depression.
There are many symptoms for this disorder. Children and adults do not have
the same symptoms. Children have eating and sleeping problems. Eating too
much or starving oneself doesn’t help anything. Insomnia, or the inability to
sleep and hypersonic, which is when one sleeps most of the time. Energy and
self esteem tends to be low. Doing schoolwork would be difficult because of
poor concentration. Children may also have feelings of hopelessness. For
example, a team losing a game can make one upset and feel like nothing is
going to ever go their way. Adults feel inactive physically as well as
mentally. They always have something to worry about even if it is simple.
Adults ten to criticize oneself and feel guilty about everything they do.
Some adults often feel irritable and cranky even if they had their coffee.
Others often feel tired and lazy, not doing what they normally would do.
These symptoms as well as the children’s symptoms tend to be chronic. Chronic
is when one is subject to a pattern of behavior over a long period of time.
The affects of dysthymia include social withdrawal or not enjoying yourself
and talking to people. A person is more likely to remain single if the onset
of this disorder is before the age of twenty one. One may also develop a
major depressive episode, which is more serious than dysthymia. In a
depressive episode the symptoms are more serious and last much longer. People
may also have impairment with their living.It might be hard socially,
academically, and occupationally.
To diagnose this disorder, you would have to speak with your physician. He or
she will ask you various questions. First you
will be asked about your physical health and probably your health history.
The doctor may also ask if there you have been previously diagnosed with a
different disorder. To treat this you doctor may prescribe an anti-depressive
medicine. An anti depressive medicine relieves depression, but it will not be
completely away unless you keep taking your pills and checking with your
doctor on your progress. This medication is prescribed, you can not buy it
over the counter. It is safe and non habit forming. Another way to treat this
is cognitive behavioral therapy. Using this for of therapy helps the way a
person thinks making it easy to change one life. Interpersonal therapy focuses
on communication skills and self concept. Most patients are successfully
treated. Research has indicated that the size of the subgenera prefrontal
cortex of the brain, which is behind the bridge of the nose may be a factor
in such hereditary depressive disorders.
I will continue to talk about depression. Since dysthymia is a form of
depression I thought that I should include a few facts on depression
This is the most severe category of depression. In a major depression, more
of the symptoms of depression are present, and they are usually more intense
or severe. A major depression can result from a single traumatic event in
your life, or may develop slowly as a consequence of numerous personal
disappointments and life problems. Some people appear to develop the symptoms
of a major depression without any obvious life crisis causing it. Other
individuals have had less severe symptoms of depression for a long time (such
as Dysthymic disorder), and a life crisis results in increased symptom
intensity. Major depression can occur once, as a result of a significant
psychological trauma, respond to treatment, and never occur again within your
lifetime. This would be a single episode depression. Some people tend to have
recurring depression, with episodes of depression followed by periods of
several years without depression, followed by another episode, usually in
response to another trauma. This would be a recurrent depression. In general,
the treatment is similar, except that treatment usually is over a longer time
period for recurrent depression.
Professional debate continues regarding whether some people develop
"endogenous depression" without any identified psychological
causes. An endogenous depression is a biologically caused depression, due to
either genetic causes or a malfunction in the brain chemistry. But, all
depression involves some changes in brain chemistry, even when the cause is
clearly a psychological trauma. After psychological treatment and recovery
from depression, the brain chemistry returns to normal, even without
To date, there is no hard research evidence to support the notion of
endogenous depression. Sometimes this term is used to describe people who do
not respond well to treatment, and sometimes it is a rationale to prescribe medication
alone, and not to offer any psychological treatment for the depression. In
general, the majority of people who require antidepressant medication for
their depression respond to treatment better when psychotherapy, particularly
cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, is provided in addition to the
medication. Medication treats the symptoms of depression, and is often a
vital part of the treatment program, but it is essential to treat the
psychological problems that caused the depression.
Cognitive therapy is the best treatment for depression, as compared to
medication and other forms of psychotherapy. However, many people respond
better to a combination of medication and cognitive therapy. It does not make
sense to only prescribe medication, without offering psychotherapy as well,
because of the added benefits shown in research studies. There are some
people who respond positively to psychotherapy, but plateau at a mild level
of depression, without complete recovery from all of the symptoms. Often, these
individuals are maintained on antidepressant medication after they have
completed psychological treatment. Remember, only physicians are qualified to
prescribe medication. Your psychologist will refer you to your primary care
physician, or to a psychiatrist, for a medication evaluation, if it appears
to be indicated.