Dysthymia and Substance Abuse | Recovery Unplugged

Dysthymia and Substance Abuse


Also known as persistent depressive mood disorder in the DSM 5, dysthymia affects about 3.3 million American adults. That’s about 1.5 percent of people 18 and older in the U.S. in any given year. A long-term form of depression, for most people it feels never-ending. The truth is that it can take over large chunks of someone’s life. Nothing is safe— not careers, relationships, or quality of life.

Mental illnesses can drive many to use drugs for escape. We all know that drugs change the brain’s chemistry. Many drugs give users feelings of happiness because of this. It can be easy to pop a pill and convince yourself that the habit is keeping you “happy.” For those struggling with long-term feelings of depression, using can feel like the only way to escape the hopelessness. Recovery Unplugged is here to let you know that isn’t the case.

When dysthymia is paired with substance abuse, it’s considered a dual-diagnosis. At Recovery Unplugged, we want to get you the help you need for both of your disorders. Your mental health is important to us. Treatment is closer than you or your loved one may realize. Get the help you need today.


Dysthymia often comes with other physical and mental health problems. Because the body and mind are so connected, if one is unhealthy the other will also be affected. As a result, these issues can either cause the depression, or depression can happen because of it. At Recovery Unplugged we treat these issues separately from the addiction and condition. Helping patients reach a balanced and overall healthy life is all we want at Recovery Unplugged.

Some of the health issues associated with dysthymia include:

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

If you or a loved one struggle with any of these conditions, don’t be afraid to get the help you need. With the right habits, medication, and support system, you can find the balance for a successful life without drugs. It’s important to handle any issues before your dual-diagnosis gets worse or leads to more serious problems. The longer your mental health and drug abuse goes untreated, the worse your health and addiction will get. Treatment for dysthymia doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world. At Recovery Unplugged, we can help you learn how to live clean with the power of music.


According to the DSM 5, dysthymia is a major depressive disorder. The signs will be different for each person’s situation. Never self-diagnose— if you feel like you might struggle with dysthymia, make sure to test with a psychologist. However, the reality is that some symptoms are easy to spot. Untreated dysthymia can seriously affect a person’s life. Those struggling should be monitored by family and friends who are in a position to recognize symptoms. Some of the criteria includes:

• 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 bigger root issues. While the real criteria for diagnosis is more in-depth, any mix of these symptoms might point to a problem. If you see any of these symptoms in yourself, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait to test for dysthymia, the more it affects everyday life and health. We’re here to help you explore the best ways to live a life without the need for drugs. Whether it’s finding the right medication, talking with someone who understands, or finding healthy ways to cope, we’re here. Don’t miss out on the help you might need.


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Our clients experience early AMA (against medical advice) discharges at a rate five times lower than the treatment industry average.


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Nearly all Recovery Unplugged clients report a positive, rewarding and fulfilling treatment experience and say they’d recommend our programs to others who need help.

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