Dysthymia is a condition in which a person struggles with mild symptoms of depression for at least two years. Though it is not as critical as major depression, it affects nearly 1.5 percent of American adults. Dysthymia symptoms include loss of appetite or binge eating, insomnia or oversleeping, fatigue, feeling low and disoriented, lack of concentration and performance issues at workplace or school. The symptoms can last for several years without the condition being diagnosed.
People struggling with dysthymia might never reach out for help for a very long period. Due to their persistent bad mood, they can be perceived as negative and unhappy by families. Lack of support and treatment increases their susceptibility to relationship troubles, unemployment, homelessness, financial breakdown and suicide. It is important to understand that dysthymia is a treatable disorder and in addition to clinical treatment, several lifestyle modifications can help in keeping the problem under check.
Let us explore a few self-help strategies to cope with the condition:
- Being aware – Knowledge is a powerful tool to deal with situations. If a person notices any changes in himself or herself, reading about the condition will improve understanding and open the doors to the best solution.
- Organizing and planning – People struggling with dysthymia grapple with a lot of negativity and this can exacerbate if their home or workplace is unorganized. One must devote some time in putting things in order. Clutter can cause more stress and a person may begin to feel lost and confused. Additionally, one must follow a daily routine as it keeps the body and mind active. Absence of life goals, small or big, leads to overthinking and excessive worry.
- Getting more involved – A person suffering from dysthymia isolates himself/herself and distresses over the fact that life is too dull. The affected person may feel that there is no hope of things becoming better and he or she is not capable of improving the circumstances. Instead of isolating oneself, it’s better to find the company of good friends or relatives who can share grief and bring smile. Social support is indispensable during such times.
- Developing healthy eating habits – It is important to look after what one eats in order to feel active and energized all day. Cutting down smoking and intake of alcohol, caffeine, sugar and highly processed foods while focusing on eating a balanced meal comprising essential nutrients, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables is a good practice.
- Engaging with support groups – Associating with online or offline support groups can immensely help a person struggling with dysthymia. These groups offer a platform to exchange thoughts, empathize and understand each other, and help foster meaningful friendships.
- Learning to relax – One must learn to relax as it is essential to stay calm and grounded. The focus should be on the present, not on past or future. One should let go of things which are beyond his or her control. Devoting some time to physical activity, or practicing breathing exercises, yoga or meditation bring peace and help a person connect to the self.
Reach out for professional help
While a person can adopt several lifestyle changes to mitigate the effects of mild depression, one can’t overlook the effect of medication and therapy. It’s important to seek professional help to manage the symptoms better. Even though dysthymia is not a life-threatening disease, ignored symptoms and delayed treatment can worsen the mental condition and affect the overall well-being of the patient.
If you know someone who is battling symptoms of depression, it is time to help them. The Florida Depression Helpline representatives can connect you to the finest depression treatment centers in Florida which specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. You can reach us via 24/7 helpline number 866-267-5177 or online chat with an expert and get more information on credible depression rehab centers in Florida.