A psychiatric evaluation for TMS is necessary to determine if a patient is a good candidate for transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS devices, introduced in the 1980s, use magnetic pulses to stimulate specific brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for regulating mood.The stimulation of neuronal activity in the brain causes the production…
Dysthymia Treatment – Persistent Depressive Disorder
Dysthymia is a mild depressive disorder that causes a person to be constantly depressed, though mostly functional, which is why the disorder is also known as persistent depressive disorder. You can learn to control it with dysthymia treatment.
What dysthymia lacks in severity it makes up for with longevity. The disorder is mild enough to allow a person to function. However, it often lasts two years or more, punctuated with periods of major depression. These spells of severe depression are referred to as double depression because a person now has to deal with two sets of depression.
Luckily, you do not have to make peace with dysthymia. By learning more about the condition and seeking dysthymia treatment, you can live a full and fulfilled life.
Causes of dysthymia
It is a known fact that the flu is caused by flu viruses and that broken skin is caused by trauma or a cut. The cause of chronic depressive disorder is not that clear-cut. Like with severe depression, dysthymia is thought to occur as a result of one or several causes, such as:
1. Altered brain chemistry
Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that carry signals between nerve endings. Think of these chemicals like battery acid, with the nerve endings being the terminals. It is thought that changes in mood can happen when there is a change in how the neurotransmitters function or affect the nerves.
2. Major life events
A change in circumstances or a traumatic event can trigger persistent but mild depression that can be mistakenly shrugged off as regular sadness. Money troubles, the end of a relationship, or bereavement are some of the things that can trigger dysthymia.
3. A family history
Many mental health conditions run in families, so a person with relatives that suffer from depression is more likely to suffer from a form of depression.
Symptoms of dysthymia
At its onset, dysthymia is often explained away as the sadness that follows a distressing event. The thing that sets it apart from sadness is its persistence and the occasional spells of severe depression that come with it.
Common symptoms of dysthymia are:
- A feeling of sadness, emptiness, or despair
- A lack of interest in day-to-day routines
- Avoiding social contact
- Change in eating and sleeping patterns
- Fatigue and listlessness
- Low self-esteem and an unfounded lack of belief in one's capabilities
- Constantly beating oneself up over past failures, whether real or perceived
- An inability to make decisions, remember things, or concentrate
Usually, a person will show one or more of these symptoms, which will work together to make the person feel that life is a slog. When these feelings persist for months on end, a person or their loved ones should seek medical help.
Left untreated, dysthymia can affect a person's relationships, work, school, and their overall physical and mental health. A person who goes to the doctor will be examined to rule out other causes of the symptoms.
Once the doctor confirms persistent depressive disorder, they will create a treatment plan using or more of the following approaches:
- Psychotherapy to identify and work through the root cause of the dysthymia. Therapy also gives the patient tools to manage their symptoms and navigate life more successfully.
- Stress reduction techniques like meditation, exercise, art therapy, or volunteering
- Lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, exercise, a better-lit home, and therapy animals
Take control of dysthymia and your life
Persistent depressive disorder is an illness like any other, so you should give it the attention it deserves. Luckily, you can beat it with dysthymia treatment and life changes that will get you feeling better about life in general and about yourself specifically. If you need our help, come and talk to us. We would love to spend time with you and talk about your condition.
Frequently asked questions about dysthymia treatment
Have questions about dysthymia treatment? Let us go over some frequently asked questions:
1. What is dysthymia?
Dysthymia, also known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD), is a long-term (chronic) form of depression. Dysthymia is not as severe as major depression, but it lasts longer.
2. What are the symptoms of dysthymia?
The signs of dysthymia are similar to those of major depression, but they are usually not as severe or debilitating. The most common symptoms include:
- Loss of pleasure or interest in pastimes and activities you used to enjoy
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or lost most of the time
- Low energy or fatigue
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Thoughts of death or suicide
3. What causes dysthymia?
The exact cause of dysthymia is undetermined, but it is thought to be a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. Dysthymia may run in families, but it is not clear if this is due to genetic factors or shared family environments.
4. How is dysthymia treated?
Dysthymia is usually treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. The most common type of psychotherapy used to treat dysthymia is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps people recognize and change negative thinking and behavior patterns.
We are here to help
At NYC Psychiatric Associates, we provide diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of mental health issues like dysthymia. Visit us at our New York office today.
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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that utilizes magnetic pulses to stimulate brain nerves. TMS therapy is FDA-approved for use in improving depression symptoms in many patients. It saves them from the common side-effects of antidepressants and does not alter cognitive functions. Patients are often recommended for the procedure when other depression treatments…
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