What is it?
Dysthymic disorder, also called as Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a form of chronic depression. It causes continuous and prolonged feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness. These feelings can affect your mood and behavior as well as physical functions, including appetite and sleep. As a result, people with the disorder often lose interest in doing activities they once enjoyed and have difficulty finishing daily tasks.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms in dysthymic disorder are less severe and longer lasting in comparison to depression with symptoms occurring on most days for at least two years.. So the chronic nature of this disease can also make it more challenging to cope with.This type of depression is mild, so family members and friends may not even know that their loved one is depressed. Symptoms often appear during childhood or adolescence and they can persist for years and may interfere with school, work, and personal relationships. Children and teens with can feel irritable instead of depressed. Their symptoms last for at least 1 year. The main symptom of dysthymic disorder in adults is a sad, low, or dark mood on most days. Other symptoms include:
* persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness
* sleep problems
* low energy
* a change in appetite
* difficulty concentrating
* a lack of interest in daily activities
* decreased productivity
* poor self-esteem
* a negative attitude
* avoidance of social activities
Other symptoms that happen much of the time include: * poor appetite or overeating * difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much * low self-esteem * poor concentration * low energy * fatigue * feelings of hopelessness. People who have PDD may have periods of normal mood that can last up to 2 months.
- Exercise at least three times per week
- Eat a diet that largely consists of natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables
- Practice yoga, tai chi, or meditation
- Write in a journal
- Find activities that make you feel good or help you feel a sense of accomplishment like go for movies or do gardening etc.
- Take certain supplements, including St. John’s wort and fish oil
Avoid drugs and alcohol as they worsen the depressive symptoms
Things to watch out for
See your GP as soon as possible if you think you or your friend or family member might have a dysthymic disorder. Your doctor will do your physical examination and appropriate investigations to rule out other causes. A combination of medication and talk therapy can be effective in treating dysthymic disorder.