Dysthymia is a form of long-term depression. This includes two types of problems such as dysthymia and chronic major depressive disorder. Like other types of depression, people with dysthymia experience feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness. Its symptoms are similar to other symptoms of depression and persist for a long time. These symptoms, which last for a long time, interfere with school, work, and all other activities and daily life. However, a combination of medication and therapy may be effective in treating dysthymia.

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  1. Symptoms Of Dysthymia
  2. Causes Of Dysthymia
  3. Risk Factors for Dysthymia
  4. Diagnosis of Dysthymia
  5. Treatment Of Dysthymia
  6. Summary

The symptoms of dysthymia are similar to those of depression. However, the main difference is that dysthymia is chronic, with symptoms occurring most days for at least 2 years. Many doctors use the symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose dysthymia. Symptoms of this include:

  • Being Depressed Most Of The Time, Almost Every Day
  • Loss Of Appetite Or Overeating
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Tiredness
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Difficulty Concentrating Or Making Decisions
  • Feelings Of Despair

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Depression is common – anyone can experience it at any time. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 19.4 million Americans experienced depression in 2019 alone. In today's time, young people have started facing the problem of depression. The cause of dysthymia is not known but certain factors may contribute to the development of this condition. which consists of:

  • Imbalance In Brain Circuitry
  • Stressful Or Painful Life Events, Such As Losing A Loved One Or Financial Problems
  • Physical Brain Trauma, Such As A Stroke

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Dysthymia is a complex mood disorder. Certain biological and environmental factors may increase your risk of developing the disorder. Which includes -

  • Family History Of The Condition
  • History Of Other Mental Health Conditions, Such As Anxiety Or Stress
  • Chronic Physical Disease, Such As Heart Disease Or Diabetes
  • Drug 
  • About 21 Percent Of People Suffering From Substance Abuse Also Have Depression. This May Eventually Lead To Dysthymia Developing.

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To make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will first perform a physical examination. They may also order blood tests or other laboratory tests to rule out possible medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms. If your doctor thinks you may have dysthymia, they will likely refer you to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment.

To be tested for dysthymia, adults must have symptoms of dysthymia almost every day for 2 or more years. For children or teens, they must have experienced a depressed mood or irritability almost every day for at least 1 year. You may also be asked some questions to find out your current mental and emotional state. Just try to answer all the questions honestly. Your responses will help them determine if you have PDD or another type of mental health condition.

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Treatment of dysthymia usually involves medication and psychotherapy.

Medical professionals may recommend a variety of antidepressant medications to treat dysthymia, including:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine and sertraline
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline and amoxapine
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as desvenlafaxine and duloxetine

You may need to try different medications to find an effective solution for your specific situation. This requires patience, as many medications take several weeks to have full effect. If you have concerns about your medicine, talk to your doctor. Never stop taking your medication as directed without talking to your doctor. Stopping the medicine suddenly may make the symptoms worse.

A combination of medication and psychotherapy is the most effective way to treat dysthymia. Doctors will usually suggest participating in psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, usually involves sessions with a mental health professional. CBT focuses on your actions and behavior in addition to your thoughts and feelings. In CBT, you will work to identify and deal with what is causing your depression. This will include talking to mental health professionals to help you accept your symptoms and establish safe habits to cope with dysthymia. Working with a therapist can help you learn to:

  • Express Your Thoughts And Feelings In A Healthy Way
  • Deal With Your Emotions
  • Adjust To Life's Challenge Or Crisis
  • Identify Thoughts, Behaviors, And Feelings That Trigger Or Aggravate Symptoms
  • Replace Negative Beliefs With Positive Beliefs
  • Regain A Sense Of Satisfaction And Control In Life
  • Set Realistic Goals For Yourself

Dysthymia is a long-term condition, so it is important to actively participate in the treatment plan. Making some lifestyle changes may help reduce symptoms. Lifestyle changes that may help with your prescribed treatment plan include:

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Because dysthymia is a chronic condition, some people may experience symptoms for many years. However, identifying the symptoms and getting the right treatment can eliminate it. Research shows that a combination of psychotherapy and medication programs may be effective in preventing future recurrence of dysthymia. Along with treatments, lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, can also help you manage PDD and improve your long-term outlook.

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