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Persistent Depressive Disorder Also Known as Dysthymia

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  • Persistent Depressive Disorder Also Known as Dysthymia

    A woman wondering, "What is persistent depressive disorder?"

    When someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, their primary objective is often to minimize and alleviate their symptoms to the greatest extent possible. However, it’s important to acknowledge that certain conditions can be chronic in nature, making the task of managing and completely eliminating symptoms much more challenging.

    One such example is chronic and persistent depression, also known as dysthymia. This form of depression can be treated in a depression treatment program through various therapeutic interventions and medications. However, it cannot be completely cured. Individuals living with dysthymia often face the ongoing task of coping with and navigating through the persisting symptoms, while seeking support and implementing strategies to improve their overall well-being.

    What is Dysthymia?

    Dysthymia is an illness that causes long-term issues with depression. It can last for many years. In some cases, it may even last an entire lifetime. People with persistent depressive disorder may find it hard to feel happy or optimistic even on positive occasions or when good things take place. They may feel that they are incapable of having fun or struggle with a constantly gloomy outlook on life.

    Unfortunately, people with dysthymia may only be able to reduce their symptoms for a period of a few months before they return again. They may experience issues with:

    • Hopelessness
    • Loss of interest in normal activities
    • Lack of energy
    • Low self-esteem
    • Sleep problems
    • Feelings of guilt

    These depression symptoms will come and go over a period of years. In most cases, they will never fully go away.

    As with any mental illness, getting regular treatment is still important for a chronic condition like persistent depressive disorder. Therapy can help individuals learn how to cope with their symptoms and live with their illness in a way that doesn’t interfere too severely with their everyday life. People with dysthymia can learn to accept their problem, become more skilled at handling their symptoms and find ways to lead a normal life in spite of their illness.

    Treatment For Dysthymia

    The most common form of treatment for dysthymia, a chronic type of depression, typically involves a combination of medications and therapy. Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are commonly prescribed to help alleviate symptoms and restore chemical imbalances in the brain.

    Alongside medication, psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT), is often recommended. These therapeutic approaches can help individuals better navigate their lives by:

    • Developing effective coping skills
    • Managing stressors
    • Establishing healthy patterns of thinking and behavior

    By combining medication and therapy, individuals with dysthymia can work toward improving their overall well-being and quality of life.

    Other forms of treatment may include lifestyle changes like:

    • Exercise
    • Better sleeping habits
    • Stress management techniques
    • Finding ways to increase one’s sense of joy and purpose

    Support groups can be a powerful tool for individuals with persistent depressive disorder, as it provides them with a safe space to share their experiences and find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in their struggles.

    Dysthymia is an illness that requires a long-term commitment to managing symptoms and implementing strategies for better well-being. However, with the right support, individuals can still live a fulfilling life despite the challenges. It’s all about understanding the condition and being proactive in taking control. Proper treatment empowers those with persistent depressive disorder to make positive changes and live in harmony with their condition.

    Get the Help You Need Today From Seasons in Malibu

    Are you or someone you know been struggling with persistent feelings of depression for an extended period of time? If so, it’s important to consider seeking a proper diagnosis and exploring treatment options for chronic depression. The compassionate team at Seasons in Malibu is here to support you.

    Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at 424.235.2009 or connect with us online to take the first step toward discovering a healthier and happier future.