Are Depression & Dysthymia both the same?

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Depression is common during adolescence and it may look different in teens than adults. Teens often seem more irritable than sad when they’re depressed.

But, not all depression is created equal. The word depression is used to describe a variety of conditions. There are four main types of depression that commonly affect teenagers. Recognizing the signs and symptoms can be key to getting a teen treatment. And early intervention can often be key to successful treatment. 

Major life events, such as bereavement or the loss of a job, can lead to Trusted Source depression. However, doctors only consider feelings of grief to be part of depression if they persist.

Depression is an ongoing problem, not a passing one. It consists of episodes during which the symptoms last for at least 2 weeks. Depression can last for several weeks, months, or years.

Now lets discuss what is dysthymia & is it harmful as depression?

What is DYSTHYMIA:

The Greek word Dysthymia means “bad state of mind” or “ill humor.” As one of the two chief forms of clinical depression, it usually has fewer or less serious symptoms than major depression but lasts longer. The American Psychiatric Association defines Dysthymia as depressed mood most of the time for at least two years, along with at least two of the following symptoms: poor appetite or overeating; insomnia or excessive sleep; low energy or fatigue; low self-esteem; poor concentration or indecisiveness; and hopelessness.

Dysthymia and major depression naturally have many symptoms in common, including depressed mood, disturbed sleep, low energy, and poor concentration. There are also parallel symptoms: poor appetite, low self-esteem, and hopelessness in Dysthymia, corresponding to the more severe symptoms of weight change, excessive guilt.

Dysthymia is about as common as major depression. Given its chronic nature that makes it one of the disorders most often seen by psychotherapists. About 6% of the population of the United States has had an episode of Dysthymia at some time, 3% in the last year. As many as a third of patients in psychotherapy may be suffering from Dysthymia. Like major depression, it is more common in women than in men, but it tends to arise earlier in life. The American Psychiatric Association distinguishes between this early-onset form and a form that occurs later in life and often comes on less gradually.

Resource: Harvard Medical school

What causes DYSTHYMIA?

 The exact cause for DYSTHYMIA is not known, but experts point to several risk factors for developing depressive disorders

  • Family history of depressive disorder
  • Temperamental factors: negative affectivity
  • Environmental stressors such as:
    • death of a parent, relative, or friend
    • abuse or neglect
    • other mental health problems such as anxiety
    • divorce or illness in the family
    • dealing with a chronic medical illness
    • chronic social or academic difficulties

Who is affected by DYSTHYMIA?

Dysthymia is a condition that can affect anyone regardless of age, race, ethnic background, gender, or income level.

What are the symptoms of Dysthymia?

A child or adolescent with persistent depressive disorder will experience a depressed or irritable mood on most days for at least 1 year. In addition, the child will exhibit appetite changes, sleep disturbances, fatigue, low self-esteem, poor concentration, difficulty making decisions, or feelings of hopelessness.

What is the Treatment for Dysthymia?

Most people with Dysthymia are undertreated. They usually see only their family doctors, who often fail to diagnose the problem. They may only complain about physical symptoms, or fail to complain at all because the disorder has become so much a part of them that they believe that is simply how life is. In older people, Dysthymia may be disguised as dementia, apathy, or irritability.

A physician might ask an open question like, “How are things at home?” — follow with, “Have you been feeling down, depressed, or sad?” — then go on to ask whether the symptoms have affected a patient’s home life, work, or personal relations. There are also several brief screening questionnaires, including the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Patient Health Questionnaire. If the answers suggest Dysthymia, a standard clinical interview can be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Like major depression, Dysthymia is treated with psychotherapy and medications — usually the same medications and the same kinds of psychotherapy. The most common drug treatments are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), or one of the dual action antidepressants such as venlafaxine (Effexor). Some patients may do better with a tricyclic antidepressant like imipramine (Tofranil).

Supportive therapy provides advice, reassurance, sympathy, and education about the disorder. Cognitive therapy identifies and corrects thought patterns that promote self-defeating attitudes. Behavioral treatment improves social skills and teaches ways to manage stress and unlearn learned helplessness. Psychodynamic therapy helps patients resolve emotional conflicts, especially those derived from childhood experience. Interpersonal therapy helps patients cope with personal disputes, loss and separation, and transitions between social roles.

Drugs or psychotherapy?

A 2003 review of controlled research found that medication is slightly superior to psychotherapy in the treatment of dysthymia. But a statistical difference among a large number of patients in many different situations is not necessarily a guide for any individual case. Some patients — especially older people — will not or cannot take drugs, sometimes because of side effects or drug interactions. For many others, a combination of long-term psychotherapy and medication may be most effective. A solid relationship with a psychotherapist or other professional can be important in maintaining a willingness to continue medications.

Recovery from dysthymia often takes a long time, and the symptoms often return. One study found that 70% recovered in an average of about four years, and 50% had a recurrence. Another study found an average time to recurrence of nearly six years. After recovery, many patients find it helpful to continue doing whatever made them well — whether it was a drug or psychotherapy.

While the search continues for better drugs and better forms of psychotherapy, the problem remains that, despite much improvement, most people with dysthymia are not receiving even the imperfect available treatments. Even when they do see professionals, they may not fill their prescriptions or take their drugs consistently, and they may abandon psychotherapy too soon.

Globally dysthymia occurs in about 105 million people a year (1.5% of the population).It is 38% more common in women (1.8% of women) than in men (1.3% of men).

Author (Blogger) Conclusion: A Dysthymia patient can perform all the things normally i.e Can pass high school & college with goods marks or well performer at work place but as a human being it is utmost important to be happy. Happiness is basic need for every human being.If happiness is not there in life,we will never get peace & get satisfaction from life.So However is reading this post & can relate this post with themselves or others please share with them.


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