Have you recently been diagnosed with dysthymia, or suspect you may have it? Dysthymia, the technical term for mild yet persistent depression, can have negative impacts on your quality of life and your daily life. Thankfully, you don’t have to deal with dysthymia alone. There are several crucial steps that could help you see gradual improvements and overcome this condition. Here are a few tips to help you along your dysthymia recovery journey.
1. Receive a Formal Diagnosis From Your Doctor
In order to effectively combat your condition, it’s important to pinpoint the cause and get an accurate understanding of what you’re dealing with. For that reason, you may want to visit your doctor and ask for a professional opinion or formal diagnosis before proceeding with other treatment steps.
There may be several phases involved in receiving a formal dysthymia diagnosis. For example, your doctor may run a physical exam or a psychological exam. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may also request that you take a lab test. This step can help identify potential causes and ensure that your symptoms are not misattributed to the wrong health condition.
2. Talk With Your Doctor About Your Treatment Options
If you’ve ever received a diagnosis of depression and addiction before, you may be familiar with some of the most common treatment options. You’ll want to speak with your doctor to determine the right treatment path for you. Although drug treatments vary widely, dysthymia pharmaceuticals generally fall into one of three broad categories. These categories are:
- Tricyclic antidepressants, or TCAs
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs
3. Book an Appointment With a Psychotherapist
In many cases, various forms of therapy may be a helpful treatment for dysthymia. Attending several psychotherapy lessons could help you identify cognitive distortions, boost your overall motivation levels, and give you the tools you need to make progress.
Some common approaches to therapy include psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. You may want to book a preliminary session with a couple of different therapists to find one you feel comfortable with.
4. Keep an Eye Out for Signs That May Worsen
Even once you start making good progress, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your symptoms and alert your healthcare specialists immediately should things take a turn for the worse. You may notice worsening symptoms that you’ve had for a while, or you may notice new symptoms begin to crop up. Remember that some of the most common symptoms of dysthymia include:
- Loss of appetite
- Constant fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent irritability or sadness
- Poor self-esteem
5. Get Into a Healthy Everyday Routine for All-Around Wellness
Lastly, focusing on improving your overall well-being is one way you can improve your holistic health and help yourself feel better, even on down days. As you work through your treatment regimen, support your progress by developing a healthy and sustainable everyday routine. Practice small, healthy habits often. For instance, it’s important that you:
- Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day
- Sleep at least seven or eight hours per night
- Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid junk foods and fast food
- Enjoy hobbies and time with loved ones on a regular basis
- Stay away from known triggers and potential triggers, such as drugs and alcohol
If you’ve been diagnosed with dysthymia or have shown signs of persistent, mild depression, it’s important to know that there are steps to take that could aid you in your journey towards full recovery. In addition to seeing your healthcare provider regularly, taking these key steps can help you overcome dysthymia and lead your best life.