Depression affects a startling number of people with figures showing that nearly twenty million Americans deal with this form of mental illness every year. Virtually half of those live with dysthymia.
This is very much like clinical depression but it is considered to have episodes that will last over a longer time period while also having symptoms that are not as devastating.
Dysthymia symptoms lasts a minimum of two years. People who suffer from this type of depression are usually still able to remain employed.
They will not become dysfunctional and require hospitalization. Yet, they will still have to deal with the difficulties that being a sufferer of depression will cause in their every day lives.
The common symptoms of dysthymia among adults, over twenty-one being the late onset stage, include changes in appetite. The person can lose their appetite or begin to eat excessively.
Sleep pattern disruption is also a major sign. The dysthymia sufferer will seem to never have enough energy to get anything done; they are always tired.
As well, they never seem to feel worthwhile. The self-esteem level is unendingly low and along with a difficulty in concentrating they feel they are never able to succeed at what they try. These feelings may explain why making decisions is another thing that they are not good at. Put all these feelings together and the depressive sinks to an overall belief that all is hopeless.
Common in the Young
This form of depression is actually more common among teenagers and young adults below the age twenty-one. It begins to show up with poor school performance and a withdrawal from the social scene. It can be mistaken for shyness but they are two completely different things.
An inability to get along with family and friends where previously there were not problems is another symptom as are a disruption of sleep patterns. This can be in the form of requiring too much sleep or not getting enough.
The person frequently becomes irritable sometimes even angry for what appears to be no reason. A part time job may begin to suffer because of these strong emotions not because the person is unable to do the job.
Affects Women More
Not unlike most other types of depression dysthymia affects twice as many women as men. A number of other odd symptoms include the fact that those with dysthymia tend to have noticeably low body temperature.
Their hair and nails are frequently brittle and for reasons hard to explain their reflexes are slower than normal. This may have to do with their thyroid not operating correctly and they should absolutely have themselves checked especially since it is common for seventy five percent of those who are dysthymia sufferers to have other medical issues or another mental illness.
However there will be no symptoms of delusions nor is it likely that the person with dysthymia will hallucinate and although they will not likely make eye contact with you they will be able to make their thoughts understood. Antidepressants should be able to help.