Chronic Depression (Dysthymia)

Long-term dysthymia can be diagnosed as chronic depression or dysthymia, which is a moderate form of depression. The disorder often coexists with other conditions of mental or medical health, such as:

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 1.5 percent of people older than 12 in the United States find it difficult to cope with dysthymia; more than half of those reported cases are termed “severe.” 

The best part is that every patient, including people who also have difficulty with drug dependence, can be given effective treatment to overcome both disorders by opting for a dual diagnostic rehabilitation capable of intensive treatment of both problems simultaneously.

Causes of Dysthymia

Professionals are uncertain of the causes of dysthymia or depression. Genes may have a role to play; however, a lot of victims might not have a close member of their family with a history of the condition. Major life stressors, chronic diseases, medications, and relation or occupational difficulties can also increase the chances of dysthymia in persons biologically susceptible to mental illness.

Some Factors Contribute to A Person Having Dysthymia. They Are:

  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Family history of the ailment
  • Histories of other mental health illnesses, like bipolar disorder and depression
  • A traumatic life event, like the loss of a loved one 
  • Chronic physical sickness, for instance, diabetes or heart disease
  • Physical brain trauma, for example, a concussion

Symptoms of Dysthymia

In dysthymia, the long length is the way into the conclusion, not the force of indications. Likewise, with significant sadness, the mindset might be either low or bad-tempered. A person with a tenacious burdensome issue may feel less delight and an absence of energy. The person may feel generally unmotivated and withdrew from life. Hunger and weight can either increase or reduce symptoms of dysthymia. The individual may rest excessively or experience difficulty dozing. Uncertainty, cynicism, and helpless mental self-view may likewise be present. 

Manifestations can develop into an all-out scene of significant despondency. Individuals with the steady burdensome issue of dysthymia have a more possibility of creating significant misery. 

While significant gloom frequently happens in cases of dysthymia, persevering burdensome issue is characterized as more consistent, going on for quite a long time. Therefore, an individual with a diligent burdensome problem will in general accept that downturn is important for their character, thus self-characterizing that the person may not think to discuss this downturn with specialists, relatives, or companions. 

The relentless problem of dysthymia comes with significant gloom, that will generally alter family relations. Dysthymia is more normal in ladies than in men; however, in men, it could be underdiagnosed because men are less inclined to converse with their PCPs about their disposition. A few groups with the persevering burdensome problem have encountered a significant misfortune in adolescence, like the demise of a parent. Others depict being under persistent pressure. However, it is regularly difficult to tell whether individuals with dysthymia are under more pressure than others or if the issue makes them see more pressure than others do.

A permanent dark or low mood lasting more than two days is the most important symptom of dysthymia in people living with chronic depression. in addition to this symptom, MedlinePlus estimates that at least two more will also be present:

  • Hopelessness for the future
  • Disruptive sleep schedules 
  • Lingering tiredness
  • Low self-esteem
  • The difference in eating habits 
  • Lack of concentration 

How to Diagnose

Almost all physicians can identify a type of depression in one of their patients, which can lead to a referral to a mental health professional for a full assessment. Clinicians diagnose dysthymia with some other depression symptoms as a persistent depressive disease for two years or more, in the case of a low mood person. Two years must not wait until the aid is obtained! Someone with symptoms of under two years can always be treated for any symptoms that are persistent or distressing.

Becoming embarrassed or ashamed of being labeled “depressed,” many people are unwilling to talk to a clinician on the subject. Occasionally, side effects of dysthymia are at the forefront of another mood disorder, for example:

  • Chronic Depression – a form of depression with shorter but severe symptoms 
  • Bipolar Disorder – patients may experience depressive episodes and periods of high or irritable mood known as manic episodes
  • Cyclothymic Disorder – a less serious form of bipolar disorder

Laboratory tests for persistent dysthymia are not available. (The doctor may, however, order medical tests that can be caused by depressive symptoms, such as thyroid issues or anemia).

Treatment Options

While dysthymia may be treated by medications, it is often not so effective as it will be in more severe versions of depression and it takes longer to work when they are effective. Treatment is therefore most often used to help the patient learn how to modify his or her lifestyle to cope with symptoms and to work on underlying problems that may cause the patient’s chronically low temperament.

Cognitive Conduct Therapy and Psychotherapy, as Are Lifestyle Changes that Include, Are Often Recommended:

  • Sleeping at the same time every night and getting out of bed at the same time every morning to have a regular sleep pattern
  • Eating only healthy means and reducing sugar consumption
  • Only take prescribed medicines as directed by the physician 
  • Regularly engaging in cardiovascular and strength-bearing workouts
  • Participating in positive events with supportive loved ones
  • Not using drugs or alcohol


Various Antidepressants Could Treat This Condition, They Include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), for example, fluoxetine and sertraline 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), like amitriptyline and amoxapine
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), for instance, desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) and duloxetine

To find an effective solution for you, you may need to try several medications and doses. This requires patience as it takes several weeks for many medications to take full effect.

Talk to your doctor about your medicine if you continue to have concerns. A change of dosage or medication can be suggested by your doctor. Do not stop taking your medication as directed without talking first to your doctor. A sudden end to treatment or missing multiple doses can cause symptoms of withdrawal and aggravate dysthymia symptoms.

Therapy Sessions

For Many People with PDD, Counseling Is a Beneficial Treatment Option. You Can Learn how To See a Therapist To:

  • Healthily share your beliefs and emotions
  • Cope with your feelings 
  • Adapt to a challenging crisis
  • Determine thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that trigger your symptoms
  • Substitute negative thoughts with positive ones
  • Have a sense of control and satisfaction in your life
  • Have realistic objectives 

Speech therapy may be performed separately or in a group to treat dysthymia. Support groups are perfect for people who want to talk to others with similar issues.

Change in Lifestyle 

This is a long-term illness, so active participation in your treatment plan for dysthymia is important. Adjusting the lifestyle can complement and alleviate the symptoms of medical treatments. The solutions are:

  • Exercising at least three times weekly
  • Consuming a diet largely made up of natural foods, like fruits and vegetables
  • Not taking drugs or alcohol
  • Visiting an acupuncturist
  • Consuming some supplements
  • Doing meditation, yoga, or tai chi
  • Using a journal to write

Similar Topics of Interest:

  • Origin of Treatment of Mental Health
  • Race and Recovery Process
  • Alternative Treatment for Addiction: The best way to Reduce Harm


While it may sound easy enough to treat dysthymia, unfortunately, it is often said easier than done. Those struggling with fatigue and desperation do not have the energy to take care of themselves every day and give priority to their own needs. Many turn to drugs and alcohol instead, so that they feel better right now, ultimately increasing their Dysthymia experience and creating a host of other long-term problems.

Do People Experience Depressive Personality?

Personality usually takes a lifetime, while moods don’t linger. However, dysthymia must last longer than any other manual mental disorder. It can make it hard to distinguish between personality disorders, in particular the group that includes an evitative, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive individual with its timidity, excessive concern, hilariousness, and social withdrawal symptoms.

Instead, some would prefer to talk about depression in their personality. This diagnosis was removed by 1980 from the official manual but reintroduced as a possible research topic. The symptoms offered include a strong tendency to be pessimistic, cultivable, brooding, and gloomy about oneself and others. The definition is not based on anhedonia and physical symptoms, but dysthymia otherwise is common in this personality disorder.

Attitude and personality constitute the individual’s emotional weather and emotional climate, thus overlapping naturally mood and personality symptoms of dysthymia. The thinking schemes found at the root of depression and dysthymia by cognitive therapists—some convictions about self, the world, and the future—are also the basis of the depressed personality.

Mood disturbances can have a personality disorder-like effect on an emotional state and social life. And, if people are pessimistic and self-critical by nature – or emotionally unstable, impulsive, and hypersensitive to loss – they will easily become more demoralized and recover from stress or misfortune from dysthymia.

Is Dual Diagnosis Rehab the Best Solution for Disorders?

According to the NIMH, dysthymia affects most people and only about 61-67 percent receive the needed treatment to treat the disorder, and just 40-43 percent get professional treatment. Also, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study that reports that about 37 percent of those living with an alcohol disorder and 53 percent of drug addicts were also diagnosed with one or more mental health conditions. Do you have a friend or family member that suffers from depression and drug/alcohol abuse? Use Dual Diagnosis rehab to help them successfully recover. Contact us today by calling 615-490-9376 to learn more about dysthymia.