Although major clinical depression is a condition known and experienced by much of the populace, a less severe type of depression, dysthymia, isn’t as easily detected. In actuality, dysthymia wasn’t even considered a real and treatable form of depression until quite recently.
Those with dysthymia would only assume that they were just feeling a little down and did not realize that their lack of enjoyment may be helped with appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Some could even self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs but end up feeling much worse. Alcohol may numb the sadness but leave a larger depression afterwards, which makes it a really ineffective antidepressant.
So what’s dysthymia?
It’s a type of depression, even though it often presents itself far less severe symptoms, which makes it easy to dismiss as a case of”the blues”. Many people are able to go to work, socialize with their kids or pretend to be happy. They might even deceive friends, neighbors and their relatives, but If they had this kind of depression (also called Dysthymic Disorder) long enough, they might not really understand that something isn’t right. They might feel that this is normal life and they simply can not be happy.
They do not feel terrible but they do not feel great, either. Some folks describe it as a feeling of being disconnected. This depression isn’t something that needs to be accepted and with good identification and treatment can make a massive difference. So as to be treated, but this low level form of depression has to be recognized. Signs of dysthymia include lots of the signs of severe depression but in a milder form. These symptoms include feeling sad, having difficulty sleeping, aching joints, appetite changes like eating too much or too small, bouts of stress, never feeling genuinely joyful or participated in life.
Although thoughts of suicide or death can happen most often in severe depression, they may also be present in dysthymia and are always a warning sign to get instant assistance. Suicidal thoughts are somewhat less common in dysthymia but is always a possibility. Dysthymic depression can have a massive effect on friendships in addition to family life.
Holidays are less joyous and other events are also influenced by the reduced mood of the depressed individual, even if the symptoms are not severe and sometimes families will accommodate. However, after treatment, this individual might comment on how much better life has seemingly improved.
Good to know
Happily, drugs aren’t always necessary for somebody with dysthymic depression. Lifestyle changes and natural remedies may be sufficient. Unlike those who undergo periodic bouts of severe clinical depression, the causes of dysthymic depression may vary. Sometimes individuals have something as treatable as a low thyroid where lifestyle and dietary changes can make a massive difference, bringing joy back after all hope was lost.
Natural remedies and lifestyle changes can also make a massive difference, possibly curing this sort of depression. Antidepressants may be used as well but people who have low level depression might be recommended to try the natural approach first. It ought to be enough. A regular exercise routine might be a starting point for this kind of depression and may bypass the need for antidepressants altogether.
One tip that could have a strong effect, when ever possible, try to use outside, such as walking or jogging. There’s evidence that sun can help regulate brain chemistry that affects depression. It might be particularly important to increase light exposure during winter and light kits are available to help out with this. Eating a diet full of nutrients will encourage the immune system and seratonin levels. If you add this to proper thyroid function which may be enough to bring a dysthymic individual from depression.
Talk therapy or group therapy may also help those with this particular kind of depression to get help and support. Being around others who understand can help teach new methods of managing the world and enhance the disposition of a depressed individual. A good therapist can also help put things in perspective and avoid a dependence on antidepressants.
If antidepressants are used, they should just be utilized as a last resort and a person with dysthymia shouldn’t be forced to try drugs until most alternatives are explored. If drug is used, it may frequently be stopped after a brief bout of counselling and important lifestyle changes to decrease stress and improve quality of life.