# Psychological Health
Zahrat Al Khaleej – Jordan
Dysthymia is a mild form of depression, but it is long-term, and the symptoms usually last for at least two years, and often last longer than that, and dysthymia can interfere with the ability to work and enjoy life, according to the medical website Healthline. .
When suffering from dysthymia, the sufferer loses interest in normal daily activities, feels hopeless, lowers productivity, lowers self-esteem, feels powerless, and exaggerates the fear of criticism from others. What are the symptoms of dysthymia, its causes and complications, and how to diagnose and treat it?
Symptoms of dysthymia
There are many symptoms that lead to changing the daily plans of the sick. Adults lose interest in daily activities, in addition to feeling sad, hopeless, tired and weak in energy, low self-esteem and constant criticism, disability to focus or make decisions, agitation and excessive anger, inactivity and productivity Avoidance of social activities, excessive guilt, loss of appetite or overeating, and sleep problems.
In children, dysthymia can occur with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral or learning disorders, anxiety disorders, or developmental disabilities. Examples of symptoms include: agitation, behavioral problems, poor school performance, pessimism, weakness Social skills, low self-esteem.
And the complications of dysthymia: poor quality of life, depression, substance abuse, relationship and family problems, social isolation, problems at school and at work, decreased productivity, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
It is very normal for a person to feel sad or angry sometimes, or not feel happy about stressful situations in his life, but when he suffers from dysthymia, these feelings persist for years and hinder the establishment of relationships, work and activities. daily. , which requires a visit to the doctor.
The exact cause of dysthymia is still unknown and the causes may be similar to the causes of major depression, including: biological causes, chemical causes and changes in neurotransmitters in the brain, genes: where dysthymia is common in the family and environment: environment Causes are life situations with which it is difficult for an individual to adapt.
There are also factors that increase the risk of dysthymia, including: having a first-degree relative with severe dysthymia or depression, or stressful life events, such as the loss of a loved one or falling into financial trouble, or personal characteristics such as: negativity, excessive dependence on others, loss of self-confidence, pessimism and constant self-criticism, or a history of other mental disorders, such as personality disorders.
Dysthymia is diagnosed using tools that include:
Physical examination: to rule out physical problems that may cause dysthymia-like symptoms.
Laboratory tests: Complete blood count test, folate and vitamin D levels, and thyroid test.
There are also criteria for diagnosing dysthymia. You should find the criteria mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The criteria for adults are different from those for children. The indicator for adults is the persistence of depression most days for two years or more. In children, depression or nervousness lasts most of the day for at least a year.
In addition, the patient should have at least two of the following symptoms: loss of appetite or overeating, sleep problems, fatigue or low energy, low self-esteem, despair, poor concentration, inability to make decisions, in addition to life interruption. . lack of ability to perform life tasks, especially when exposed to pressure.
The two main treatments for dysthymia are: medication and psychotherapy, and their combination may be more effective. Determining the method of treatment depends on several factors, including the following: severity of symptoms, personal preferences, previous methods of treatment, tolerance to medications and others. emotional problems.
Antidepressants used to treat dysthymia include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
Doctors usually start prescribing an SSRI antidepressant because they are good at treating this condition and their side effects are better tolerated than others.
If disturbing side effects occur, it is advisable not to stop taking the antidepressant; It can cause withdrawal symptoms if you do not gradually reduce the dose, and in agreement with the doctor, discontinuation of treatment causes sudden worsening of depression and in some cases, side effects may disappear when the body adapts to the medication.
Psychotherapy can help a person learn more about his or her condition, feelings, moods, thoughts, and behaviors, and teach you healthy coping and coping skills.
There are other measures that help in treatment, among which the most important are: not to miss the treatment sessions and continue to take medication even if you feel better, read about dysthymic disorder, engage in various sports activities and avoid taking drugs and illegal alcohol. . And the use of therapies that harmonize mind and body, including: acupuncture, yoga or tai chi, meditation, guided imagery, massage therapy, relaxation techniques, music or art therapy, spiritual practice, efforts to simplify your life and reduce obligations, not isolate For those around you, learn ways to relax and cope with stress.
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