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  1. #1

    Dysthymia and Depression

    I was diagnosed with dysthymia, what is it and how do I overcome?

  2. #2

    Dysthymia and Depression

    Hi SadGirl,

    Dysthymia is a persistent mild depression, which can be treated with therapy and/or medications. Therapy and medication together have been found the most effective when utilized at the same time.

    Here are some of the symptoms:

    Presence, while depressed, of two (or more) of the following:

    1. poor appetite or overeating
    2. insomnia or hypersomnia
    3. low energy or fatigue
    4. low self-esteem
    5. poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
    6. feelings of hopelessness


    The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ottawa, Canada

    Dysthymia and Depression

    In addition to Dr Dobson's review, here is an overview from the National Institute of Mental Health

    What is Dysthymia?
    Dysthymia (the Greek roots of the word mean “bad state of mind” or “ill humor”) is a disorder with similar but longer-lasting and milder symptoms than clinical depression. By the standard psychiatric definition, this disorder lasts for at least two years, but is less disabling than major depression; for example, victims are usually able to go on working and do not need to be hospitalized.

    How Common Is It?
    About three percent of the population will suffer from dysthymia at some time - a rate slightly lower than the rate of major depression. Like major depression, dysthymia occurs twice as often in women as it does in men. It is also more common among the poor and the unmarried. The symptoms usually appear in adolescence or young adulthood but in some cases do not emerge until middle age.

    Warning Signs
    The warning signs of dysthymia are:

    poor school/work performance
    social withdrawal
    irritable hostility
    conflicts with family and friends
    physiological abnormalities
    sleep irregularities
    parents with major depression
    At least three-quarters of people with dysthymia have some other psychiatric or medical disorder as well.

    Current Treatments for Dysthymia

    Psychotherapy or cognitive therapy (also known as “talk therapy”) is used to alter people ’s self-defeating thoughts.
    Behavioral therapy may help people learn how to act in a more “positive approach” to life and to communicate better with friends, family, and co-workers.
    Tricyclic antidepressants, the standard treatment for major depression, may be useful for dysthymia

    In many cases, the symptoms are hard to recognize and classify, and the response to treatment is unpredictable. Most people with dysthymia see only their family doctor, who may misdiagnose them, especially if the main complaints are physical. Many people do not think of themselves as depressed, and are relieved to be told they have a treatable illness. Unfortunately, mental health professionals are usually consulted only when major depression develops, although dysthymia alone may lead to alcoholism or suicide. Even when it is recognized, dysthymia is difficult to treat. The longer a depression lasts the slower the recovery.

    For More Information:
    Contact your local Mental Health Association, community mental health center, or:
    National Mental Health Association
    2001 N. Beauregard Street, 12th Floor
    Alexandria, VA 22311
    Phone 703/684-7722
    Fax 703/684-5968
    Mental Health Resource Center 800/969-NMHA
    TTY Line 800/433-5959

    National Foundation for Depressive Illness (NFDI)
    PO Box 2257
    New York, NY 10016
    Phone: (800) 248-4344

    Depression Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment (DART)
    National Institute of Mental Health
    5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10-85
    Rockville, MD 20857-8030
    Phone: (800) 421-4211

    American Psychiatric Association
    1400 K Street, NW
    Suite 501
    Washington, DC 20005
    Phone: (202) 682-6000

    Canadian Mental Health Association

    [size=9px]Source: The Harvard Mental Health Letter[/size],

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

  4. #4

    What is wrong with me and what can I do to change?

    I have been depressed for 7 years now. I have really low self esteem. A lot of this has manifested into a bit of promiscuity. I make-out with 15 random guys over a two month period at one point. (Am I a slut?) Anyway, I hate myself even more now and so do most ppl it seems. I put ppl off. I am very sensitive and whenever anyone seems to not like me the slightest I obsess over it. My self-concept of myself is pretty bad, what can I do to change? I want to change....

  5. #5

    Dysthymia and Depression

    would you say that making out w/ those guys makes you feel better about yourself? or at least that tou think that it will (even if it doesn't in the lt)? you obviously put a lot of value on what others think about you and sometimes that gets us into trouble by trying to do things that will make us be "liked" or "popular" or just be loved... we put so much value into what others think that even if we can get them to like us you're constantly trying to keep up w/ that, coming up w/ new ways to assure you will be liked... it's kinda like a trap. if you want to change (things in general) and you said you've been depressed for 7 yrs, have you ever gone to therapy? have you considered seeing a therapist???? that might be a good start, especially if you're motivated to change.

  6. #6


    Dear Sadgirl, I've been there too. I have been depressed probably all of my life, but I was diagnosed about ten years ago. It probably took me about four or five years to stop breaking those behaviors that caused me to hate myself and I still have behaviors that I have just realized I need to change. I didn't make out with lots of guys, but I did keep getting into relationships with men that deep down inside I knew were not good for me. I don't know how you feel, but I think that I was doing it to find some sense of security and I feel that maybe I thought I didn't deserve to be treated with respect. I know that sometimes I still feel this way. Did something happen to you when you were a child? Please don't hate yourself. If you really try to figure out why you are doing this I am sure that you will overcome this behavior. Have faith in yourself. You will overcome this because you are seeking help.

  7. #7

    Dont know who I am

    I feel like a stranger in this body, in this world and my head is throbbing.

  8. #8

    Dysthymia and Depression

    Hang in there. With everything in this world going on around us, I think it's easy to become unbalanced. What I mean is the balance between our bodies and our minds and understanding who we are. It's possible to find that balance, but it never hurts to get some help with that. There are 2 things I know - 1: It's possible to get better/improve your situation. 2: It takes time and many people need help with it. Taking time to go through the process of getting better is OK. It's just experiencing life.
    I'll say it again. Hang in there. Hopefully knowing that you're not alone and that people care about your well being (ie people on this forum) will help your beautiful head to stop throbbing.

  9. #9

    Dysthymia and Depression

    I think sometimes things become so painful, so unbearable that dissociating ourselves from our body and life is the only way to cope and deal w/ things. Not necessarly the most useful in the lt, but it gets you through- I know. You get to the point where your life seems so "out of place", where things don't make sense in the greater context of your environment. I think some of that is definitely depression, feeling hopeless and worthless and like things just seem so out of context. As Dianna has said as well, you're not alone, it may seem like that but you're not... there are people out there who understand and also those that can help you if you can find them and accept their help.. This isn't what life should be about, and it's not... maybe it was in the past, maybe it is today, maybe it will be tomorrow... but at some point, things will get better and all of this will make sense and probably have made you a stronger persomn b/c of it. I don't really know what else to say..... except that it's a long journey, a difficult one... but you will get through all of this w/ time so that things will start making some sense again (never ever really makes a 100% sense though, does it?).

  10. #10

    Dysthymia and Depression

    Sadgirl, I struggle with a similar problem. I didn't go out much because of my horrible self image so when I did make it outdoors and got so much as a compliment I was just floored. I was shocked and amazed but I suddenly felt special, desirable and liked. I ended up sleeping with just about anybody, and even though I always felt tons worse afterward, I continued doing this. The only thing that slowed me down was the weight I gained. I fear that when I lose the weight I'll be bed-hopping again. Hopefully by the time I lose the weight I will be able to see myself in a new light and learn to respect my body and myself. By then I also hope to really like myself and not need validation from others. I wish the same for you :)

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