Dysthymia is the same depression, only depressive symptoms are not very pronounced. The diagnosis of dysthymia is exhibited when moderately pronounced signs of depression are present for a long time (at least two years).
What a multifaceted depression. Especially if you look at this disease from the perspective of psychiatry. Depression alternates with bouts of excessively elevated mood – this is not just depression, but manic-depressive psychosis. All the same, but only the degree of mood fluctuations is less – here you have cyclothymia (read about which you can here).
Periodic onset of bouts of severe depression, and only, not accompanied by episodes of high spirits, a violent desire to do something – recurrent depressive disorder. Finally, long-term decline in mood, along with symptoms of asthenia or characterological changes, are characteristic of dysthymia.
Why the disease occurs
Why there is dysthymia, finally, scientists have not yet figured out. There is evidence of hereditary susceptibility to the development of dysthymia. The appearance of symptoms of dysthymia is associated with a metabolic disorder of a very important substance for the brain – serotonin.
To provoke the development of symptoms of the disease at the initial stage can stress, conflict situations, the loss of a loved one.
Dysthymia – a chronic disease. It occurs mainly at a young age (up to 21 years). The severity of the symptoms of this emotional disorder never reaches such an extreme as with a recurrent depressive disorder.
Already at the initial stages of the disease, somatovegetative and asthenic symptoms predominate. Most often, patients complain of feeling unwell, tearfulness, shortness of breath, palpitations, constipation, poor sleep with frequent awakenings.
To take anguish at all, and do not want to do anything at all, it is not peculiar to dysthymia. But the feeling of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and general malaise – characteristic symptoms of dysthymia. Along with decreased mood, somatovegetative symptoms may occur – rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, trembling.
Dysthymia can also be called neurotic depression, if its symptoms persist for two years or more.
At first, the appearance of signs of depression can provoke stressful situations, unresolved conflicts, but over time, external events have less and less effect on the severity of symptoms.
Dysthymia can be somatized and characterological.
Somatic version of the flow
At the initial stages, the main symptoms are impotence, disturbing fears for one’s health, internal stress combined with vegetative disturbances – rapid heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, trembling in the fingers, abdominal discomfort. The severity of these symptoms is closely related to external events.
Over time, anxiety and anxiety can be replaced by lethargy and a sense of physical impotence. There may be another scenario: heightened anxiety develops into heightened self-observation of his health, the appearance (or intensification) of pathological fears of various diseases – cancer, heart disease (carcinophobia, cardiophobia).
The leading symptoms of characterologic dysthymia are a tendency to spleen, a decrease or complete loss of the ability to enjoy (anhedonia), thoughts about the meaninglessness of life, suicidal thoughts. All events, even absolutely neutral, such people interpret pessimistically.
This emotional disorder puts its imprint on the person’s personality. Such people are grumpy, picky, constantly grumpy. Nothing pleases them, they are always gloomy, disgruntled, with a dull look and an expression of boredom on their face. With all their appearance, they want to show others how badly they are, how sick they are, how unfairly fate has dealt with them. Over time, even the closest friends and relatives who initially sympathized with them, try to stay away from them.
In most cases, people suffering from this disorder do not consider themselves (and especially mentally) ill. They are sure that even if they have signs of the disease, then this is all for a short time. Characteristic dysthymia is one of the manifestations of nosogeny.
For the treatment of dysthymia apply drugs and psychotherapy.
The main group of drugs used for the medical treatment of dysthymia is antidepressants.
For somatized dysthymia, traditional antidepressants are used (anafranil, fluoxetine, Velaxin).Dual-action antidepressants are also prescribed – contributing to normalization of mood and affecting somatovegetative symptoms (pyrazidol, lerivon, coaxil, moclobemide). What kind of drug, and in what dose it should be taken – this is determined by the doctor individually.
For the treatment of character depressions, low doses of antidepressants are usually combined with neuroleptics that have a corrective effect on behavior (neuleptil). Sometimes used prolonged neuroleptics (long-acting) – fluanksol – depot, haloperidol decanoate.
Psychotherapy is of secondary importance. Her main task is to help form an adequate internal picture of the disease, a critical attitude to its condition.
This pathology belongs to the category of diseases that are well treatable. Therefore, the sooner you seek medical help and start treatment, the less impact the disease will have on a person, on his position in the family and society.