Dysthymia is a chronic but mild form of depression which often begins in childhood or early adulthood.
However, calling the depression “mild” is somewhat misleading, since it can last for many years and is just as serious as a more acute bout with depression such as clinical depression.
Dysthymia, however, is treatable.
Some of the symptoms are very similar to those of major cases of depression, such as being in a sad mood, having trouble sleeping, losing one’s appetite, feeling worthless or hopeless, thinking about suicide, anxiety, having trouble moving, being sensitive to fear or rejection, being irritable or angry, and having unexplained pains.
Often people who suffer from this tend to use alcohol or illegal drugs to help them, but this is not a solution.
Dysthymia can effect both men and women, but it is more common in women, just like a case of major depression.
Dysthymia does not discriminate as far as age is concerned.
Since it is a chronic form of depression, the treatment is longer than the treatment for major depression. Usually, talk therapy is considered the best treatment. However, more studies have been showing that antidepressants are very good at treating it.
However, the two should be combined for the best results because the medication often does not work if the person cannot talk about the problem with someone and make personal connections.
When antidepressants are prescribed for dysthymia, the treatment can last for up to five years. Usually the treatment for major depression lasts in between six and 18 months.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) have fewer side effects than older types of depression medications like MAOI and TCA. However, they do have some side effects.
It is important to not start taking such medication without first consulting a doctor. And it is important to take the medication regularly and to not stop, because a relapse is very probable if the person stops before he or she is supposed to.
Even though a family’s primary doctor can prescribe the medication, it is recommended to go see a psychiatrist because they know how the medication works better than anyone.
Finding the best medication for this kind of depression needs a trial-and-error test method, because every person is different and every kind of medication reacts differently from person to person.