Can Dysthymia (Chronic Depression) be cured like Major Depression?
Can it go away?
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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:12 PM
From what I understand it is a low level nagging depression. It's manageable with medication or therapy. I don't know if it can be cured. I know for me, I will be on meds the rest of my life. Sorry I couldn't give you a more positive answer. You can always ask your pdoc for the definitive answer.
Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:39 AM
there is no such thing as a cure for mental ilness. At best the symptoms can be alleviated by medication to the point of ' it' being in remission, similarly to how a headache is alleviated by ibuprofen ( is headache caused by a lack of ibuprofen?) . However I think it is bad to think of yourself in terms of having dysthymia or any other mental illness as a lot of secondary suffering (anxiety, despondency & dejection etc.) is created this way. I know from experience. What is more is that unlike medical diseases the underlying pathology of mood disorders is currently poorly understood. However what is pretty much established is that mood disorders are somehow related to life stress and the way we perceive things. These two things can be changed/managed. I think that the only amount of sustainable improvement that can be achieved is achieved by channgin how we perceive things, chanhing our circumstances and adress individual symptoms the best way possible. To do that we need to know what drives our symptoms and I think that this varies on a case by case basis.
What I like to do is focus on the positives as much as possible. I learned for myself that I have a very toxic way of ruminating on negative and potentially threatening things that non-neurotic people wouldnt even focus on. What I personally believe is that this kind of negative, but deeply ingrained, way of thinking is particularly toxic in combination with bad life circumstances. At one point, due to chronic high levels of enviromental stress and constant worry and anxiety about it from my part I fell into an increasinly deepening depression. I didnt even notice that I began to withdraw from positive events and suddenly everything revolved around negativity. At a certain point I was apparantly feeling so low and mentally exhausted from the stress that i couldnt feel positive emotions anymore, no more love or affection for family members etc. I couldnt taste food anymore and I lost a lot of weight and hardly slept at night. Realzing that created TREMENDOUS secondary suffering (panic attacks and full on suicidal despair and agitaiton and I was constantly in this dream like, surreal state of mind). having no pleasure from anything whatsoever sucks, but contemplating the value of a life time spent in such a desperate state sucks maybe even more. I now think that this secondary suffering actually prolonged the anhedonia/vital exhaustion.
Yet I emerged from this 'episode' of whatever it was to be my normal self again, once the lfie stress resolved (albeit traumatized by the experience). SO, can it be cured? I dont think that depression is a homogenous disease entity like for example the flu is, with a single underlying, specific pathological process, but rather that for some people who are genetically prone to getting depressed the symptoms can only be undertood in terms of the circumstances and varaibels that drive them and they need to adressed for ' it' to disappear. HOwever that is just my perspective.
Edited by sc2, 01 May 2013 - 03:05 AM.
Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:50 AM
It can go into remission. Are you referring to Dysthymia or to Double Depression (Dysthymia + MDE's)? DD is harder to "cure" than dysthymia itself because the dysthymia feeds into major depressive episodes. Like any other disorder, it's more MANAGEMENT than curing. And like sc2 said, everyone manages their problems differently because everyone has different problems! (And everyone responds to things differently).
What works for someone else, might not work for you. If your dysthymia is impeeding your life, your may want to look into your treatment options. If it isn't right now, you may just want to take the warning flag for what it is and do your best to make lifestyle changes that will make you feel better. If you have the energy now, use it before a low day or an MDE hits and you lose it. Look up the positivity blog. They have a lot of good articles about reducing anxiety and stress and making new habits.
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