Frequently Asked Questions About Dysthymic Disorder

I got diagnosed with dysthymia before I dealt with gastroenteritis. The latter was technically a result of my depressive disorder, considering there were months pre-diagnosis when I would not eat for up to a week. Part of me did not want to live; another part of me wanted to see how long I could stay without eating and keeling over. One day, when I felt super dehydrated, I ended up drinking the contaminated water from the faucet, causing me to have a viral infection.



A few days at the hospital could have made anyone rethink their life choices and want to get rid of all their issues. However, it was challenging to do for someone with dysthymia like me.  

Can dysthymia be cured?

There are no known cures for depressive disorders. Also, dysthymia may not be cured through a medicine-based approach since this condition is more complex than we might think. However, people who live with dysthymia can live a life of happiness and contentment. Make sure that you surround yourself with people who can support you and who understand you. 

What does dysthymia mean?

Dysthymia is a long-term and chronic form of depression. It can be characterized by feelings of loss of interest, hopelessness, laziness, and low self-esteem that can last for years, which can also affect your daily life, relationships, and school or work. For other people, if you have dysthymia, you can be described as gloomy with the incapability of having fun, and you may tend to complain a lot. 



What condition does a client with dysthymia have?

If a person is diagnosed with dysthymia, they have a chronic form of depression. This condition is also known as Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD). Again, this condition is much like any other form of depression with the effects of its symptoms; however, PDD can last for years. As a result, people diagnosed with PDD or dysthymia can lose interest in daily life and become more withdrawn. This is not something they can control, as this is part of what they are diagnosed with.

What is the best medication for dysthymia?

People with dysthymia are often left undertreated as they only can visit their family doctors where they only report physical symptoms. If you are looking for the perfect medication for this diagnosis, treatment and cure are the same for any major form of depression. The most common drugs to take are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or dual-action antidepressants. You must not self-medicate; always check with your doctor before taking any pills.

Is dysthymia a disorder?

Yes, it is a disorder. It is also known as Persistent Depressive Disorder or PDD. This is a relatively new diagnosis that combines the two earlier types of dysthymia and a chronic form of depression. Much like all the other forms of depression, PDD can also cause a feeling of great sadness and even hopelessness, which may affect your mood and even your behavior. 

Is dysthymia a form of bipolar?

No, it is not a form of bipolar disorder, but it co-occurs with other mental illnesses. It is a double depression where it happens along with the dysthymia that was previously diagnosed. However, if a person switches from Dysthymic moods to hypomanic moods, this can sign a mild form of bipolar disorder. 



How do I know if I am bipolar? 

This can be a different experience for different people. Some might have a difficult time sleeping, while others tend to sleep a little too much. It can sometimes feel quite overwhelming, especially with feelings of failure, the death of a loved one, or even guilt. This can then trigger suicidal thoughts. Other signs that you could look out for are difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, and even over or under eating.

What is a bipolar person like?

Those diagnosed with bipolar disorder can go through both episodes of depression and episodes of mania or an overwhelming feeling of joy, excitement, a lesser need for sleep or rest, and bursts of energy. This can be different for many people, meaning that the experience is unique for other people, so bipolar disorder does not have a particular look or type. 

Can a bipolar person truly love?

Everyone in this world is entitled to love and be loved. As someone with bipolar disorder, you might feel scared to involve yourself in a romantic relationship because you would never really know when the right time is to spring the information on your partner. Still, of course, you can genuinely love and be loved. As long as you keep yourself honest with your partner, stick with your treatment, and make sure that you are keeping an open line of communication with the person you are involved with.

What are the four types of bipolar?

The four types of bipolar are Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic disorder, and Mixed features. The first type can involve periods of severe mood episodes. The second type is a milder type of mood elevation, which also involves mild hypomania, which alternates with severe depression. Cyclothymic disorder means there are brief periods of depressive symptoms that may not be as bad as fully hypomanic episodes. Lastly, mixed features are all these different symptoms of opposite mood polarities. 

At what age do signs of bipolar appear?

Signs of bipolar disorder can start even during childhood; however, it is more uncommon than adults. This only happens to at least 3% of the recorded cases. Signs may start to show up during the late teenage years to early adulthood, but this can also happen to children again. So, make sure to keep a lookout for the different signs of bipolar disorder no matter the age. 

What triggers a bipolar episode?

Triggers for bipolar episodes are lack of sleep or a change in your sleeping patterns, sudden bursts of anger or emotions, stress from heartaches, alcohol and substance abuse, and antidepressants, and other medications. However, this can be different for other people as bipolar is a very personal experience, making every one unique. 



Signs of bipolar in a woman?

There are many different signs that both men and women with bipolar disorder can experience. There are no specific signs for one gender. Still, the symptoms are usually: irritation, bursts of energy, reduced amounts of sleep, increased frequency in talking, rapid speech flows, being easily distracted, and even an increased or decreased appetite. These are signs that both men and women share who live with bipolar disorder. 

Final Thoughts

I am still lightyears away from feeling like my old, cheerful self. It might not even happen in this lifetime, given that dysthymia was a chronic mental disorder. Despite that, I finally found a good balance between my emotions and actions, and I no longer starved to death. I would say that’s a significant win, to be honest.