Are Depression & Dysthymia both the same?

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 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 Special: 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.

Enjoy Old Age With Some Good Care

Old aged persons doing yoga

Getting older is a fact of life. As much as we’d love to stay young forever, we have to grow up eventually.

While this obviously comes with its share of benefits, there are sometimes downsides to ageing too. A lot of people struggle to take good care of themselves when they’re older because their bodies don’t work the way they used to. No matter what condition you’re in, though, there are always things you can do to keep your health trending upward.

If you want to make the most of your senior years, check out these tips. Following a few of them ought to make a big difference to your quality of life.

Keep Active

Old aged persons doing yoga regular basis

There’s a reason that a lot of athletes retire while they’re still in the prime of their lives. Our bodies aren’t made to perform strenuous activity forever. However, while running marathons or diving from 10-metre platforms might eventually be out of the question, that doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. There are so many things you can still do to stay active, including walking, water aerobics, gardening, and yoga. Some of these workouts might be harder than others, but just take everything at your own pace and remember to have fun. The most important thing is that you regularly do something to keep your body moving because physical activity is essential for healthy ageing. Get enough exercise every week and you’re sure to feel stronger, happier, and healthier.

Routine Doctor Checkup

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Old aged person routine doctor checkup

As a person gets older, concerns for their health typically increase. Their bodies aren’t as strong as they used to be, and they’re more susceptible to illness. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor fairly regularly during your senior years. Getting routine tests done for things like cholesterol and blood pressure will let them know how your body’s coping, and whether there’s any action they need to take. It’s better than staying at home and letting things get worse without even realizing there’s anything wrong in the first place. What’s more, over 65s are eligible for free seasonal jabs, so it’s definitely worth visiting a doctor for that every year, too.

Look After Hearing

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Old aged person with hearing aid

Hearing loss isn’t uncommon amongst older people, which is why it’s important to get tested regularly. Doing so can highlight any potential issues and help you find solutions to them, such as getting a hearing aid. These can make all the difference to your quality of life, and you’ll easily find one to fit your needs at sites such as Audilo. They specialise in products for the older generation, all of which are designed to aid those with hearing impairments. That includes things like headphones, alarm clocks, and doorbells, as well as senior phones. These are specially designed landlines and more basic mobile phones which make keeping in touch with loved ones so much easier. If products like these can help improve your day-to-day life, it’s worth it.

Routine Eye check up

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Old aged person routine eye checkup

Just as it’s important to care for your hearing when you’re older, it’s also essential that you look after your eyesight too. Much like hearing, this can worsen with age, sometimes without you realising it. It’s advised that you get an eye test every two years, although, for those over 70, it’s worth increasing this to once a year. That way, you can monitor what’s happening with your eyes and, in some cases, correct the problems you might be experiencing. Given that over 60s receive eye tests for free, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get a regular checkup.

Have A Sleep Routine

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Old aged person routine sleep

There’s no time in a person’s life when sleep isn’t a good thing. It’s what lets our bodies recharge after a long day and keeps us going from one day to the next. However, sleeping isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially for those in their senior years. Some older people experience insomnia, which can be very distressing and can also offset their health. Having a regular sleep routine could combat this, as could drinking something like chamomile tea before bed. Cutting out naps is also a good idea, no matter how nice they might be. If these suggestions don’t help, you’d best speak to your doctor and try to find a solution that way.

A Balanced Food Habit

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Old aged person balanced food habit

You may hit your senior years and think to yourself, “I deserve to let loose”. Well, you’re right. Life is for living, and you may as well enjoy it. However, it’s important not to go too overboard with this mindset, especially when it comes to your food habit. While you’re absolutely allowed to indulge in your favourite things, you should still try to eat well and drink plenty of water. Fruit, vegetables, and foods low in saturated fat are usually good to include, as well as whole grains and lean meat. You might think a good diet doesn’t matter so much if you’re not bothered about your figure, but you still have your health to think about. Eating well will give you more energy and potentially ward off illnesses, which definitely isn’t a bad thing as you grow older.

Have To Be Socially Active

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When it comes to taking good care of yourself, it’s not just your physical health that you have to look out for. Your mental well being matters too, and depending on your situation . Depression affects older people, along with many other mental issues, so it’s important to try and combat this wherever possible. If you live alone, we suggest reaching out to those around you as much as possible. That might mean weekly calls with loved ones or visiting friends if you’re able-bodied enough to do so. Your happiness matters, no matter your age, and there’s no reason why this should suffer once you’re older. Don’t ever feel like you’re a burden for wanting company.

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