Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
In contrast to the more intense episodes of major depressive disorder, persistent depression can also extend throughout a person’s life. In this case, the disorder can debilitate an individual for at least two years or more. Also, while conditions may satisfy fewer criteria of a more major depression, they can still considerably impact one’s state of being, especially as they accumulate and poison the mind over time. Similar features include disproportionate eating habits, sleep disturbances, low energy, low self-esteem and cognitive dysfunction. Greater neuroticism, irritability, overall dysfunction and the accompaniment of another disorder are commonly found in serious cases and require a strong network of support to address the disorder long-term.
Due to the sheer variation of depressive illnesses, treatment for these kinds of disorders must be comprehensive and specialized to a person’s unique needs. Regardless if an individual’s depression is expressed or hidden, short or long-term or involves suicidal ideation or substance abuse, all cases should be treated with the utmost care and attention. The most important element to remember is to talk about one’s depressive thoughts if they arise. By expressing this personal struggle to others, the individual will quickly find out that he or she is not alone and can find needed resources to recover.