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Dysthymia Essay

1610 words - 7 pages

Depression has a varied spectrum of severity, from minor feelings of discomfort and sadness to major and severe depression. Dysthymia, also called persistent depressive disorder, is a “depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated by either subjective account or observation by others, for at least 2 years¨ (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013, p. 168). This chronic state of depression is not severe as the ones experienced in Major Depression, but they are significant enough to cause problems and obstacles on everyday lives. According to Psychiatric Times about 2.5% of the American population fulfill the criteria to be diagnosed with Dysthymia (Uher, 2014). ...view middle of the document...

For example “some medical conditions such as viruses or a thyroid disorder may cause the same symptoms as Dysthymia” (“Depression,” 2015) and these possibilities can be eliminated by performing a physical exam. If no physical condition seem to be causing the symptoms then psychological evaluation can begin with a mental health professional. The discussion between the patient and the doctor will include when the symptoms started, how long they have been present, how severe are they, and whether they have occurred before and past treatment of it. Diagnosis in children and adults differs in the duration the symptoms have been present. For adults symptoms must be present “for at least 2 years” but only “for one year for children and adolescents” (APA, 2013). Once all the tests have been made and a patient meets the criteria for Dysthymia, they are diagnosed with the disorder.
Although the success of treatment for the chronic depressive state of Dysthymia is lower that the non-chronic depression, it is a treatable disorder. To treat Dysthymia, doctors use medications and psychotherapy. Treatment with medication is mainly antidepressants, which “primarily work on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and norepinephrine.” (“Depression,” 2015). These neurotransmitters regulate mood and thus affecting those transmitters will help with mood disorders such as Dysthymia. Some of the antidepressants used are called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Prozac) are some of the most commonly prescribed SSRIs for depression. Another medication is serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) which include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta). When they are first taken, SSRIs and SNRIs can have side effects that include headaches, nausea, jitters or insomnia but these symptoms fade with time. Another antidepressant medication that could be prescribed for patients with Dysthymia are Tricyclics. They are an older type of antidepressants that include imipramine and nortriptyline. Tricyclics are not used commonly today due to their potential side effects. They can cause dizziness and have negative effects on the hearts of people with heart diseases. The other way of treatment for Dysthymia is through psychotherapy through which patients learn about their condition, mood, thoughts and behavior. There two main types of psychotherapy used that are effective in treating depressive symptoms which are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). “CBT helps people with depression restructure negative thought patterns” (Depression, 2015). It also helps patients recognize things that may be contributing to their depressive symptoms and interpret their environment in positive ways. The other type of psychotherapy is IPT, which is more centralized and focused on relationships that may contribute to having...

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