Dysthymia and Its Role in Addiction

Also known as persistent depressive mood disorder, dysthymia affects approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year (about 3.3 million American adults). It is characterized by prolonged feelings of depression and is a chronic form of depression. Unlike major depressive disorder, which may include intermittent bouts of depression, dysthymia takes over large swaths of a person’s life, including their careers, their romantic and familial relationships and their overall health and quality of life. Treatment for dysthymia is closer and more accessible than you or your loved one may realize. Get the help you need today.

Dysthymia and Dual-Diagnosis

Dysthymia is commonly accompanied by other physical and mental health issues. These issues can either be the cause or effect of dysthymic disorder and should be treated separately from the condition to help patients achieve balanced, overall health. Some of the health issues commonly associated with dysthymia include:

• Bipolar Disorder
• Eating Disorders
• Headaches
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
• Sleep Disorders
• Substance Abuse
• Adult ADHDBDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder)
• Chronic Pain
• Fibromyalgia
• Stress and Anxiety

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these conditions, it’s imperative to seek treatment immediately before dysthymia worsens or leads to more serious issues.

Do I Have Dysthymia?

Each dysthymia sufferer’s symptoms will vary according to the scope and origins of their condition. Prolonged and untreated dysthymia can severely impact a person’s life and should be monitored closely by family and friends who are in a position to recognize symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms of dysthymia include:

• Loss of Interest
• Sadness and Melancholy
• Hopelessness
• Tiredness and Lack of Energy
• Irritability and Anger
• Low Self-Esteem
• Avoidance of Social Activities
• Feelings of Guilt and Worry
• Poor Appetite or Overeating
• Trouble Sleeping
• Decreased Activity, Effectiveness and Productivity
• Trouble Concentrating and Trouble Making Decisions

Many of these symptoms can be tied to underlying issues. It’s important to seek treatment immediately upon recognition of symptoms to mitigate difficulty in one’s everyday life and health.

Dysthymia and Substance Abuse: What You Need to Know

Substance abuse is commonly linked with all types of depression, including dysthymia. Women who struggle with depression are four times more likely to develop substance use disorder; men are three times as likely. Individuals suffering with co-occurring dysthymia and addiction need professional, comprehensive and compassionate care. This includes detox to address the immediate medical dangers of substance abuse followed by ongoing rehab and behavioral therapy to deal with the long-term dysthymia. Recovery Unplugged is committed to helping patients heal from dysthymia-related substance abuse using our innovative and proven music-based care approach.

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