Dysthymic mood disorder is a mental health condition that can make everyday life feel hard. People with dysthymia often have low energy, problems concentrating, and difficulty enjoying things. They may also have low self-esteem and feel hopeless and helpless much of the time. If you are struggling with these symptoms, know that you are not alone. In this blog post, we will discuss what dysthymia is, its symptoms, and how to deal with it!
- 1 What Is Dysthymic Mood?
- 2 What Are the Symptoms of Dysthymic Mood?
- 3 Reasons for Dysthymic Mood
- 4 Can Dysthymic Mood Impacts Someone’s Life?
- 5 How Is Dysthymic Mood Treated?
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Dysthymic Mood?
The dysthymic mood is a low, depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. It’s different from major depression in that it’s less intense and doesn’t involve as many symptoms. However, it can still interfere with your life and make you feel hopeless.
This mood is also known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD), dysthymia, or chronic depression. It’s a real medical condition that can be treated. Sometimes, people with dysthymic moods also experience episodes of major depression. This is known as double depression.
What Are the Symptoms of Dysthymic Mood?
People with dysthymic mood usually have at least two of the following symptoms:
Feeling down, hopeless, or helpless most of the time
This is one of the most common symptoms. You may feel like there’s no point in doing anything or that things will never get better.
Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
You may not have the energy to do the things you love or see your friends as much as you’d like. This can make you feel isolated and alone.
Sleeping too much or too little
Changes in sleep patterns are common in people with dysthymic moods. You may find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, or you may sleep more than usual.
Eating too much or too little
Weight gain or weight loss is another common symptom. You may lose your appetite altogether or find yourself overeating. This can lead to further health problems.
Having low energy or trouble concentrating
You may feel tired all the time, even if you got a good night’s sleep. It may be hard to concentrate on tasks or make decisions.
Feeling worthless or guilty
These negative emotions can be hard to shake. You may feel like you’re not good enough or that you don’t deserve happiness.
Having persistent physical symptoms
Sometimes, the physical symptoms of dysthymic mood are mistaken for other conditions. It’s important to see a doctor to rule out any other possible causes.
Having thoughts of death or suicide
This is a serious symptom that requires immediate medical attention. If you’re having thoughts of harming yourself, please call a suicide hotline in your country right away.
Reasons for Dysthymic Mood
Other than signs, various reasons can cause dysthymic mood. Some of the most common reasons are:
One of the most common causes of dysthymic mood is a genetic disposition. If any of your close family members such as your parents or grandparents have suffered from clinical depression, then you are likely to develop dysthymia as well.
Another reason for developing dysthymia is neurotransmitter imbalance. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that help in transmitting messages between different nerve cells in the brain. An imbalance in the levels of these neurotransmitters can lead to various mental disorders including dysthymia.
Brain Structure Abnormalities
Certain abnormalities in the structure of the brain can also lead to dysthymic disorder. For instance, people suffering from this disorder have been found to have abnormalities in the hippocampus region of the brain. This region is responsible for controlling our emotions.
Stressful Life Events
If you have gone through any major stressful life event such as the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, etc., then it can also lead to dysthymia. Such events can trigger a chemical imbalance in the brain which can eventually lead to this disorder.
Certain Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions can also contribute to the dysthymic disorder. For instance, people suffering from hypothyroidism or chronic pain are at an increased risk of developing this disorder. These medical conditions can cause a chemical imbalance in the brain which can lead to dysthymia.
Can Dysthymic Mood Impacts Someone’s Life?
The impacts of dysthymic mood disorder can be far-reaching and cause serious problems in many areas of someone’s life. Some of these can be:
One of the most common problems associated with dysthymic disorder is difficulty sustaining close personal relationships. This can be due to the negative view of self that many people with dysthymia have, as well as the decreased ability to experience positive emotions.
Both of these factors can make it difficult to connect with others and maintain healthy relationships.
Work and School Issues
Another common problem for people with dysthymia is difficulty functioning at work or school. This can be due to fatigue and low energy levels that are often associated with the condition. Additionally, the negative thoughts and feelings associated with dysthymia can make it hard to concentrate or stay motivated.
Problems With Drugs and Alcohol
Many people with dysthymia also struggle with substance abuse. This may be due to self-medicating in an attempt to improve mood or cope with the negative thoughts and feelings associated with the disorder. Additionally, the decreased ability to experience positive emotions can make drugs and alcohol more appealing.
Issues With Mental Health
As with any mood disorder, dysthymia can also lead to other mental health problems. This is often due to the negative thoughts and feelings associated with the disorder, as well as the increased stress that can come from dealing with the symptoms. Additionally, people with dysthymia are at a higher risk for developing other mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
If you or someone you know is struggling with dysthymia, it’s important to seek help. There are many effective treatments available that can help improve symptoms and quality of life.
How Is Dysthymic Mood Treated?
Treating dysthymic mood can be difficult, as the condition is often long-lasting and can be resistant to treatment. However, there are some effective treatments available.
Medication may be prescribed to help regulate mood. Commonly used medications include antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Mood stabilizers, such as lithium, may also be used.
Psychotherapy is another common treatment for dysthymic mood. This type of therapy can help people identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors that contribute to the condition. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of psychotherapy that is particularly helpful in treating dysthymic moods.
In some cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be recommended. This treatment involves passing an electric current through the brain to induce a seizure. It is thought that this treatment can help to improve mood by changing the way the brain functions.
Self-care measures can also help manage dysthymic mood. Getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep are all important for maintaining good mental health. Additionally, avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs can help to prevent dysthymic mood from worsening.
If you think you may be experiencing a dysthymic mood, it is important to speak with a doctor or mental health professional. With proper treatment, it is possible to manage this condition and improve your quality of life.
Dysthymic mood is a condition that can be very debilitating. Someone with dysthymia may not have an obvious “trigger” for their low mood, or they may have had a significant life event occur (such as the loss of a job) that has contributed to their condition. If you think you may be suffering from dysthymia, seek help from a mental health professional. With treatment, it is possible to improve your mood and live a more fulfilling life.
Hope this article was of help to you! If you are suffering from mental health disorders, you may seek help from Therapy Mantra. We have a team of highly trained and experienced therapists who can provide you with the tools and skills necessary for overcoming mental health disorders. Contact us today to schedule an online therapy or download our free Android or iOS app for more information.