When someone has a mental illness, their goal is often to reduce their symptoms as much as they possibly can. Unfortunately, certain conditions can be chronic which makes it much more difficult to manage and ever fully eliminate symptoms. Many people live with chronic and persistent depression also known as dysthymia which can be treated but not cured.
What is Dysthymia?
Dysthymia is an illness that causes long term issues with depression and it can last for many years or in some cases, 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.
Typically for people with dysthymia, they 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 and feelings of guilt. These depression symptoms will come and go over a period of years and in most cases 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 the individual 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.
If you or someone you know has had depression for a long period of time then it may be necessary to get a diagnosis and treatment for chronic depression.