You may not have heard of dysthymia before, but it is one of the most common types of depression. Dysthymia is a mild but long-term (chronic) form of depression. Symptoms usually last for at least two years, and often for much longer than that.
Chronic depressive disorders like this prevent you from being able to function day-to-day and enjoy your life. Those suffering from this condition may not be able to remember a time where they felt happy, motivated, or excited. Often times it seems like you have suffered from depression all your life. Rather then enjoying life, you may be inactive and withdrawn from family and friends. You may be very critical towards yourself and have a constant negative feelings about yourself. Other common symptoms include pervasive feelings of guilt, irritability, fatigue, and difficulty either falling asleep or waking up.
Because dysthymia is a mild, long-term depression, it goes untreated for years, and is thought to be just part of someone’s personality. The disorder frequently develops early in a person’s life, leading them to believe it’s normal to always feel depressed. Because of this, dysthymia often goes unnoticed and untreated. This is unfortunate because with experienced help, dysthymia sufferers are able to find relief and prevent their condition from worsening. If you think your teenager may be suffering from dysthymia, it’s very important to receive a mental health evaluation as early as possible. Early treatment of dysthymia can prevent the onset of anxiety, more serious disorders, or possible substance abuse as they get older.
Women are two to three times more likely than men to develop dysthymia, and 3% of the US population is affected by mild but chronic depression at any point of time. 10% of those that have this condition will go on to develop major depression, so early diagnosis and treatment is vital. Depression, when identified early, is highly treatable. There are over thirty different antidepressant medications available in this day and age to help treat depression. It is important to receive a proper evaluation from a psychiatric doctor, where you can discuss your treatment options. In addition to psychopharmacology, there are a number of useful therapeutic approaches to ease the discomfort of depression. Dr. Rodriguez and his team of psychologists and psychotherapist employ behavioral therapy, like CBT and DBT, to treat depression. These therapeutic approaches teach patients a number of useful skills for managing the anxiety and negative self-talk that accompanies clinical depression.