Everyone does say that laughter is the best medicine. Your medications are just a supplement.
Disclaimer: we are not medical professionals- we cannot give you a diagnosis or medication advice. Please speak to a health professional for this. If you are in crisis please contact one of the hotlines on our page.
Dysthymia is a low grade (ha ha) depression that is longer lasting then clinical depression, but whose symptoms are less severe. Meaning that, as my therapist once explained to me, once you “push through” it in the morning you should be able to get on with your day, but that initial push is EXTREMELY hard. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it symptoms aren’t as severe - due to the long lasting nature of the illness it’s effects have a tendency to impact functioning just as much (or worse) then clinical depression.
Dysthymia has a number of typical characteristics: low drive, low self-esteem, and a low capacity for pleasure in everyday life. Mild degrees of dysthymia may result in people withdrawing from stress and avoiding opportunities for failure. In more severe cases of dysthymia people may even withdraw from daily activities. They will usually find little pleasure in usual activities and pastimes. Diagnosis of dysthymia can be difficult because of the subtle nature of the symptoms and patients often can hide them in social situations making it challenging for others to detect symptoms. Additionally, dysthymia often occurs at the same time as other psychological disorders, which adds a level of complexity in determining the presence of dysthymia, particularly because there is often an overlap in the symptoms of disorders.
Co-existance with major depressive disorder is high (don’t I know it) - this is known as “double depression.” According to the NIH dysthymia affects 5% of the population.
How to tell if you have dysthymia:
The symptoms of dysthymia are the same as those of major depression but have have lasted several months or years (yes many people go untreated for years because they feel that being depressed is just a part of who they are since dysthymia lasts so long):