The Experience Of Mild Depression, Otherwise Known As Dysthymia

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Everyone has been sad at times.  You may even have felt mild depression.  This is normal.  If the symptoms described here have lingered for a long period of time then it may be more than just sadness.  It may be dysthymia.

What Is Dysthymia?

Dysthymia is similar to clinical depression only its symptoms are not as severe.  They are also longer lasting.  This low grade depression may seem less harmful than clinical depression, but it can remove the joy and meaning from life just like more serious depression.

The difference is that, with milder symptoms, it is not as disabling.  There is no need for hospitalization, and life can go on much as it always has.  You may be able to go about your daily routine with milder depressive symptoms and with one more real problem.  You are not happy.

What Are The Symptoms?

The symptoms of dysthymia are just like those of clinical depression but with a lesser severity.  They include poor work performance, social isolation, sleep disturbances, irritability, and possibly hostility.  These symptoms can have a dramatic effect on home and work life even if their severity is less.

One of the problems lies in the fact that, because the individual can continue with the tasks of daily life, the condition may not be perceived to be as serious as it is.  The individual may not even seek treatment.  He or she may adjust to this diminished quality of life and, because of it’s drawn out nature, live with it for years.

Treatments For Dysthymia

Treatments can include medications to help manage symptoms or psychotherapy.  One form of psychotherapy known as behavioural therapy aims to help the individual improve their behaviours and act more positively toward people when interacting.  This can lead to positive changes.

Another form of psychotherapy known as cognitive therapy aims to reveal and change cognitive distortions which are errors in thinking.  Once these erroneous beliefs are revealed, they can be replaced by more logical, more positive beliefs.  As these negative thoughts are replaced by more positive ones, the patient’s mood improves along with the rest of their symptoms.

Feeling mildly depressed happens from time to time.  Feeling mildly depressed consistently for a lengthy period of time may be the condition known as dysthymia.  Identifying this sometimes elusive condition can lead to treatment and feeling better.  It can bring the joy back to life.

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