Depression comes in all forms, ranging from mild to severe cases. Dysthymic disorder, also known as dysthymia is a form of “low-grade” depression that is chronic. People with this condition might experience short periods of times with normal moods but the majority of the time will feel mildly to moderately depressed. Some people have “double depression” which means experiencing dysthymia as well as major depressive episodes. Some people who suffer from mild depression feel that there is nothing they can do as they have always been like that. The reality is that it can be treated no matter how long you have been suffering.
Mild Depression Symptoms
Although they will last for a long time, the symptoms associated with mild depression are lower in strength than those of major depression. They are chronic and that can make it hard to think of good times and live a full life.
People who have a sad, dark or low mood most of the time for 2 years or more are believed to suffer from mild depression. In the case of children as well as adolescents, irritability for at least one year is valid as well.
Besides, at least two of the following symptoms should be present at all times.
- Poor concentration
- Overeating or poor appetite
- Low self-esteem
- Fatigue or low energy
- Too much or too little sleep
- Feelings of hopelessness
- In many cases, people with mild depression will also have a discouraging view of their future, themselves, life events and others.
Mild Depression Causes
- Although experts don’t know what exactly causes mild depression, they do know that it is more common in women.
- Some people who experience dysthymia will have long-term problems including medical issues, anxiety, drug addiction or alcohol abuse. In addition, most people who suffer from it will experience at least one episode indicating major depression.
- When the elderly have mild depression, they tend to have medical illnesses, be isolated or have problems caring for themselves.
Mild Depression Diagnosis
In order to determine if you have mild depression, your doctor or health care provider will ask you about your history of mental health symptoms such as mood. In some cases, they will also take blood and urine samples in order to eliminate the possibility of depression due to a medical cause.
Mild Depression Treatments
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
The good news is that if you suffer from mild depression or dysthymia, there are many different things that you can try to do yourself to improve the condition. Some of them include:
- Avoiding the use of illegal drugs and alcohol as these substances will not only impair your judgment, but can actually worsen your mood over time.
- Do your best to find people that are positive and caring and surround yourself with them.
- Find someone you trust and talk to them about your feelings.
- Try to find things to do that will make you happy.
- Do your best to exercise regularly.
- Know what to pay attention to in order to make sure that your mild depression is not getting worse. You should also have a plan in place so you are prepared in case you notice the condition beginning to worsen.
- If you are taking medications, be sure to do so correctly and talk to your doctor about any side effects.
- Do your best to eat healthy, nutritious meals.
- Be sure to get enough sleep.
- Practice yoga that fights depression. Watch a video for anti-depression yoga routine:
Although medications will frequently work well at treating mild depression, they will not always produce effects to the same degree as when dealing with major depression. In addition, it is possible that they will take a bit longer to start working.
You should never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor and this includes if you are experiencing side effects or feel better. When you and your doctor decide that you should stop taking the medication, you will not just suddenly stop taking it. Instead, your doctor will make a plan that slowly reduces your dose.
Many people who suffer from dysthymia find it helpful to have talk therapy of some sort. These therapies can be a great way to find somewhere to discuss how you feel and what you are thinking. It can also help you learn how to deal with your thoughts and feelings. There are several variations of talk therapy and these include:
- Psychotherapy or insight-oriented therapy. This therapy can help those with mild depression symptoms understand possible reasons that they are having these depressive feelings and thoughts.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy is designed to help you figure out how to stay aware of the symptoms of your dysthymia. It will also show you what makes your symptoms worse. The therapy will also teach you problem-solving skills.
Some people also find it helpful to join a support group that includes other people with the same problems. If you like this idea, you can ask your doctor or therapist for suggestions.
When to See a Doctor
You should always make an appointment with your doctor if you have one of the following symptoms:
- You frequently feel low or depressed
- Your symptoms of mild depression are worsening
You should also pay attention to the following symptoms as they can indicate a suicide risk. If you or someone else develops them, you should get help immediately.
- If they withdraw from their friends or are unwilling to go anywhere
- If they talk about suicide or death; or if they say that they want to harm themselves
- If they suddenly change their behavior (a specific example would be appearing calm right after being anxious for a period of time)
- If they injure themselves or engage in other self-destructive behaviors
- If they start saying things about “going away”, giving away their possessions or say they need to get their “affairs in order”