Dr. Thompson

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Thompson

Last Updated on:
April 24, 2024

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Dysthymia is an often misunderstood mental illness that can have a profound negative impact on a person’s life. The good news is that it is a treatable disorder. When a person receives the right type and level of treatment for dysthymia, they can achieve improved health and enjoy a much more hopeful life. Arbor Wellness is a preferred provider of Dysthymia treatment, depression, and depressive disorders. Give us a call now at 629-217-2658

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Arbor Wellness is an industry leader in mental health treatment. Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual. Call us today, we’re available 24/7.

What is Dysthymia?

Dysthymia is a mental health concern that affects a person’s mood, attitude, and energy level. In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), dysthymia is included in the depressive disorders section.

The DSM-5 introduced a new name for this condition. It had previously been known only as dysthymia. But when the DSM-5 was published in 2013, the name was changed to persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia). 

Two of the more common forms of depression are major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia):

  • People who have major depressive disorder will experience severe symptoms that will undermine their ability to function in one or more important areas of life. These symptoms must last for a period of two weeks.
  • People who have dysthymia won’t always experience symptoms that rise to the severity of the major depressive disorder, but they will have symptoms for an extended period. For an adult to be diagnosed with dysthymia, they must have been experiencing symptoms for at least two years.

During the two or more years that a person experiences symptoms of dysthymia, they may also have episodes of major depressive disorder.

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Signs and Symptoms of Dysthymia

A person who develops dysthymia may exhibit signs and symptoms such as the following:

  • Subdued, sad mood most days
  • Regularly eating either too much or too little
  • Regularly sleeping either too much or too little
  • Persistent and pervasive fatigue or lack of energy
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Memory problems
  • Overwhelming feeling of hopelessness

In short, dysthymia can make it difficult for a person to get up in the morning, get through the day, and experience joy or satisfaction while doing so. Even if a person with dysthymia is outwardly successful, they may feel little to no inner satisfaction as a result of their accomplishments.

Dysthymia can undermine a person’s ability to form and maintain healthy relationships, make appropriate progress in school or at work, and otherwise engage in a full and healthy life.

Thankfully, dysthymia is a treatable condition. When a person receives appropriate professional treatment for dysthymia, they can learn to manage their symptoms and take greater control of their thoughts and emotions.

Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. In the case of a medical emergency please contact 911 or visit your local emergency department.

How Does Treatment for Dysthymia Work?

Treatment for dysthymia often involves two elements: prescription medication (psychiatry) and therapy.

Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants have all proved effective at helping people who were receiving treatment for dysthymia. 

Therapy can help people understand the root causes of their dysthymia and identify triggers (circumstances or situations that may prompt the onset of dysthymia symptoms). During therapy, people can develop and practice skills for avoiding triggers or responding to them in a healthier manner.

At Arbor Wellness, we can also incorporate several dynamic services into a person’s treatment for dysthymia. These services can boost brain health and help alleviate symptoms of dysthymia:

Causes and Risk Factors for Dysthymia

Dysthymia is not the result of one universal cause. Several temperamental, genetic, and environmental factors can raise a person’s risk for developing this disorder. Possible risk factors for dysthymia include the following:

  • Having an anxiety disorder or a conduct disorder
  • Losing a parent due to death or separation during your childhood
  • Elevated levels of neuroticism or negative affectivity
  • Having a parent or sibling who has dysthymia
  • Certain abnormalities in various parts of the brain

How is Dysthymia Diagnosed?

To receive an accurate diagnosis of dysthymia (or any other mental health condition) you should consult with a doctor or a mental health professional. These experts can talk to you about the symptoms you have been experiencing, how long you’ve been dealing with them, and how your life has been disrupted. 

Once you have completed a thorough assessment with a qualified professional, they can provide you with a diagnosis. This person may also recommend a range of treatment options or refer you to a caregiver who offers treatment for dysthymia.

Remember: To be correctly diagnosed with dysthymia, you must have been experiencing symptoms most of the day, for more days than not, for a period of at least two years.

Benefits of Residential Treatment for Dysthymia

Here are just a few of the many benefits of receiving residential treatment for dysthymia:

  • You can temporarily step away from the stress and pressure of day-to-day life. While you are in residential treatment for dysthymia, you can focus your full attention on your treatment and your health.
  • During residential treatment for dysthymia, you can learn about lifestyle changes (such as following new nutrition and exercise plans) that can help you manage the symptoms of dysthymia.
  • Throughout your time in residential treatment for dysthymia, you will be in a safe place that features round-the-clock care and supervision.
  • Before you transition out of residential treatment for dysthymia, you will receive a detailed discharge plan. This document may identify community-based services and resources that can support you as you continue to improve your health.

Begin Treatment for Dysthymia in Nasville

Arbor Wellness is a premier provider of personalized treatment for dysthymia in Nashville, Tennessee. Our center offers both residential and outpatient options to help adults learn to manage the symptoms that have upended their lives. If you or someone that you care about needs effective professional treatment for dysthymia, the Arbor Wellness Team is here for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help and learn more about our admissions process.

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Did you know most major health insurance plans with out-of-network benefits can help cover most of the costs associated with our program? Click below to find out your coverage and treatment options right now.

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